Northwest NEWS

March 20, 2000

Valley Special

Cougar euthanized after pet goat killed near Carnation

   A cougar which state wildlife officials had monitored for two months after it appeared in a backyard near Kent was euthanized last week after it killed a domestic goat near Carnation.

   State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials said the young, male cougar, estimated to be about 30 months old and weighing about 130 pounds, was captured last week by department officals and a wildlife biologist, and later euthanized. The animal had killed a pet goat in a fenced pasture at a home in a rural area between Carnation and Duvall.

   In January, the same cougar was captured, outfitted with a radio telemetry collar, and released into a wooded area north of I-90 after it was discovered in a tree in the backyard of a home outside of Kent. Over the last two months, wildlife biologists tracked the cougar by following radio signals.

   "Monitoring this cougar has provided valuable information about these animals' movements and the habitats they select," said WDFW District Wildlife Biologist Rocky Spencer. "It's really the first time our agency has had the opportunity to gather this kind of information from a relocated animal."

   Until last week, the cougar had not caused any pet, livestock, or other problems. On March 13, however, while tracking the radio signal, Spencer discovered the dead goat in a fenced pasture. One of the fence posts bore cougar claw marks and hair.

   After discovering the dead goat, the cougar was tracked and treed. He was darted with immobilization drugs and later euthanized.

   Officials said it is WDFW policy to euthanize animals if they reappear a second time in civilization or prey upon pets or livestock. Any cougar involved in a human attack is immediately euthanized.