Northwest NEWS

August 14, 2000

Front Page

Cougar sighted near Duvall

Officials say animal may have killed several sheep
   by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor
   DUVALL‹Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents set a trap for a cougar last week after several sheep and a goat were found dead in two separate incidents in the Duvall area.
   On Wednesday, a resident who lives just south of town reported to agents that she saw a large cougar near her home. Shortly after, when she went to check on her sheep, she found five of them dead.
   The day after, three more sheep and a goat were discovered slain on a farm near where the other sheep had been killed, said Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Virginia Painter.
   Hounds were called in to track the cougar, but it was not found, she said.
   On Friday, agents baited a trap, but "there were no takers," she said. "The agents are still working on it."
   Officials warn people to be very cautious in areas where cougars have been sighted.
   Agents say cougars prefer dense brush and semi-open forests, are solitary and are most active at dawn and dusk. Residents in those areas are urged to keep small children supervised when they are playing outdoors, keep pets and their food indoors, keep livestock and their food enclosed in sheds or barns at night and not to approach dead animals, which may be a cougar's meal.
   Those who encounter a bear or cougar shouldn't run, officials say. Rather, they should stand tall, waving arms above their head and shout. Anyone seeing a cougar should call the Fish and Wildlife Department or, if there is an immediate emergency, call 911.