Public’s Reaction to Cougar Sightings in Washington Area

Feed the deer and raccoons, and you might indirectly be feeding a cougar.

That’s the lesson to be learned from recent encounters at a Kelso apartment complex.

Don Throgmorton, the unofficial caretaker at 1620 Minor Road, about a half-mile north of where Brinyon Street crosses Interstate 5, said he’s seen a cougar several times there in recent weeks. One day it was about 10 feet away, he said.

“It was growling and hissing at me.”

A neighbor saw the big cat Wednesday night, Throgmorton said Thursday.

“It’s getting very spooky out here,” he said. “I’m afraid some of these kids are going to try to approach it and it’s going to try to kill them.”

Throgmorton likes to feed the deer and raccoons at the complex, which is in a wooded area east of I-5.

Attracting deer and raccoons likely attracted a cougar, said Sgt. Ted Holden of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“We convinced him to not feed wildlife like that,” Holden said. “That would draw a cougar in. It’s likely just a cat hanging out in the area because they’ve got such a concentration of deer and raccoons.”

Throgmorton said he hasn’t seen his favorite deer recently. “I have an idea the mountain lion may have killed it.”

WDFW is providing Throgmorton with pamphlets about how to avoid conflicts with cougars to distribute to apartment residents.

“He’s going to be our eyes and ears down there,” Holden said.

WDFW would attempt to capture the cougar if it exhibited abnormal behavior, such as not running away from people or appearing in broad daylight, Holden said. The agency also removes cougars if an officer can document that the cat killed a pet or livestock.

In Corvallis on Wednesday, Oregon wildlife officials killed a cougar that had injured a small dog at one house and may have killed a pet cat at another, and used a backyard deck as cover.

Holden said the WDFW averages a couple of cougar siting reports a month in Cowlitz County.

COMMENTS:

1.Americandream said on: September 25, 2010, 4:05 pm
Wow do you know how much it costs to catch a cougar and to transport it into the woods just to be shot later costs? Kill it now and be done, before it does kill someone. They don’t only come out at night! You think the game dept is just going to sit all day and night waiting for it? LOL Hear kitty kitty…you people kill me I actually am laughing at all of you! OUTLOUD!Atrucker u are right there are actually a few up there. Oh and for the people thinking saying aww more kitty u need 2move

2.Dr.Evil said on: September 25, 2010, 10:02 am
Hey Ned Grab yer Gun it’s time to thin our their numbers!

3.How IT IS… said on: September 25, 2010, 9:46 am
DO NOT FEED wild animals! It will attract undesireables. You are doing none of them any favors, as it will result in death of something, possibly humans. I agree with Amers.

4.Atrucker said on: September 24, 2010, 9:49 pm
This cat has been around for some time . He has been seen in ostrander, and up on headquarters rd . I think this is a smart old cat.

5.Amers said on: September 24, 2010, 6:34 pm
i think it’s just sad when the animals (cougars, bears, etc) have to be killed for something like this. it’s so unfair. they should just be transported to the woods away from people, but to be killed? they didn’t ask to be fed!

6.Kay English said on: September 24, 2010, 6:04 pm
People, be careful up there. There will be cowboys out to shoot the cougar. Keep your pets and kids in after dark!

bigcatrescue.org

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