Cougar killed in La. – was it an escaped "pet"?
Mountain Lion Spotted in Bossier City
Reported by: Erica Bennett
Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 @09:47pm CST
For Charles Colgin, Sunday afternoon turned into a day to remember. While playing in the yard with his son at his parent’s home..he saw something he couldn’t believe.
“Something just caught my eye and I looked up. I told my borther, “man there’s a tiger or something in the tree.” He said “man, I ain’t fallin for that.” I said “no, there’s a tiger in the tree,” he said.
But Colgin didn’t see a tiger. He saw a cougar.
“This is the first one, in 30 years in wildlife and fisheries that I’ve had a bonafide cougar sighting in Louisiana that I can say “yes, this is a cougar,” Steve Herbert with the Lousiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.
Once they got the call, Bossier City Police secured the area and made sure people remained in their homes. But that didn’t end the situation. It ended once the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrived.
“We decided we were going to attempt to dart the cat. And see if we could take it out by sedating it. Unfortunately when we darted it, the cat made moves that he was going to come down the tree and come out into the neighborhood. We thought it was a public risk, so we had Bossier PD take it out,” Herbert said.
Officials say they’re surprised the cougar was in a residential neighborhood. And that it most likely traveled up the Red River in search of food.
The last documented cougar sightings were in September in Natchitoches and Allen parishes. Officials say the animals might be expanding their territory from Texas.
“If they’re going to re-establish a population in Louisiana just like the black bears, we may have to learn to live with them,” Herbert said.
Colgin says the fate of this cougar was unfortunate, but necessary to remain safe.
“I’d rather see him dead than one of my children dead. So, I hate that it happened, but oh well,” he said.
Wildlife officials plan on taking the Bossier cougar to Baton Rouge for testing. There they will determine whether the animal was wild or someone’s pet.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org