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JULY 28, 1997

Local News

Cougar spotted in Reintree

  by Andrew Walgamott
   Last week a resident of Reintree reported seeing a cougar in her backyard. State officials are advising nearby residents to bring their pets in at night and to not leave food sources in their yards.
   Robin Wade, who lives in the 19500 block of N.E. 188th Street, said last Tuesday at about 7:30 a.m. she was eating breakfast when a small, seemingly well-fed cougar crossed through the trees and shrubs in her backyard. She said the cougar came and went quickly. Her concern now is for her children and neighbors' pets.
   Tim Waters, a spokesperson with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), said it isn't unusual to see cougars in western Washington. Waters advised families in areas where cougars have been reported to take precautions, including penning livestock at night, bringing pets indoors, removing food sources from yards and containing garbage. He said cougar-human contacts were rare, but that if one occurred, you should become aggressive and yell, scream and pretend you're bigger and tougher than the cougar. He also advised against turning and running, as that response triggers instincts in cougars to chase.
   Waters also said small children should not be left alone where cougars have been seen. Cougars are attracted by quick, jerky movements.
   To report a cougar sighting, call the DFW at 775-1311 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. At other hours call the Washington State Patrol at (425) 649-4370 who will dispatch a wildlife control officer to the scene. Or call 911.