On Friday, Mar. 8, the Daily Record reported that a cougar killed a small dog in Cle Elum, Wash. The owner had let the dog out of her home on Sixth Street on Wednesday night so that it could go to the bathroom.
According to Washington State Fish and Wildlife Capt. Rich Mann, the cougar was likely nearby when the dog walked out of the home. Kittcom reported that the dog was a rat terrier.
“It grabbed [the dog] and took off with it,” Mann stated.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife necessitates euthanasia if the cougar is found because it killed a pet. According to Mann, a trail cam spotted a female cougar with cubs in the Airport Road area east of town. Mann stated that this cougar might have killed the little dog.
“Potentially, it’s a female trying to feed her cubs, which could be unfortunate,” Mann said.
Kittitas County Sheriff deputies and Washington State Patrol officers were unable to find any trace of the cougar.
According to Mann, residents should not worry about their safety, but they should be careful about letting small animals out at night. Mann also recommended taking extra care with smaller livestock.
Mann stated that local residents who do see a cougar can call the Yakima WDFW office at 509-575-2740, the WDFW hotline at 877-933-9847 or the county state patrol office at 509-682-8090.
According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, cougars are the largest members of the cat family in North America, with adult weighing as much as 180 pounds and measure 7-8 feet long from nose to tip of tail. Cougars are most active from dusk to dawn.
It is not unheard of for a cougar to prey on pets. While their typical prey includes animals such as deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, and wild sheep, a starving or desperate cougar will turn to easier prey, such as small domesticated animals and people.
Those who live in areas that may have wildlife including cougars, coyotes, and bears, should take precautions to keep their pets and children safe.
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