Wildlife and humans peacefully coexist throughout Washington State, but when wild animals are old, injured, or starving, they may resort to easier prey. Sadly, on Friday, Mar. 1, the Wenatchee World reported that a small dog in Manson, Wash. was killed by a starving cougar.
A woman in her 60s let her dog out of her home in the 700 block of Manson Boulevard at approximately 2:30 a.m. Although the home was in a well-developed neighborhood along Lake Chelan in Manson, Wash., the residential area didn’t deter a desperate cougar who was looking for an easy meal.
When the woman saw that the cougar had her dog, she tried to get it to drop her pet by blocking the cougar’s exit from the yard.
According to Capt. Chris Anderson with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the woman was knocked down and suffered scratches that required stitches.
Twenty minutes later, a Chelan County sheriff’s deputy arrived, fatally shooting the cougar. Sadly, the dog died, as well.
According to Anderson, the cougar was an old, emaciated male. “He was nothing but bones,” Anderson stated.
“He was in very, very poor health and on his last legs.”
A necropsy will be performed on the cougar today to determine if any other health issues instigated the attack.
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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