Cougar

There have been incidents of suspected and verified cougar activity in south Pacific County this year.

OCEAN PARK — A black dachshund named Dolly was reported missing Nov. 22 from the vicinity of “V” Lane and 242nd Lane near Ocean Park Lutheran Church. Neighbors fear a cougar might be responsible.

The dog’s owners saw a cougar before their pet vanished, according to discussion on social media.

One neighbor reported hearing what she thought was a cougar Friday night, Nov. 22.

“And I definitely heard a cougar — it was not a bobcat, it was high pitch then a low roll. Something hit my place, it was pitch dark so I couldn’t see what was happening.”

Although cougar sightings sometimes turn out to be yellow Labrador retrievers, coyotes or other critters, Washington state’s healthy population of the big cats — an estimated 2,000 adults — does result in cougar-human conflicts in Pacific County.

On July 19 on 142nd Street near Sandridge Road, possible cougar depredation on five sheep was reported to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“The reporting party saw a cougar at one of the carcasses and scared it away,” according to a WDFW report. “The cougar had dragged a carcass across onto a fallen tree. The other carcasses were in a trailer on the property. Two with neck punctures and two partial carcasses that were butchered. Officers searched the property and were unable to locate the cougar.”

On Sept. 10 at the same location, three sheep were reported killed by a cougar the night before, of which two remained onsite and one had been removed. A turkey was taken Sept. 10 before wildlife officers arrived. Upon examining the remaining sheep carcasses, “Bite marks and prints confirmed it was a cougar kill.”

WDFW summoned trackers with hounds, and one cougar was removed.

Elsewhere in the county this year, on Sept. 26 WDFW received a report of a possible cougar den near Monohon Landing Road on the northern outskirts of Raymond.

The responding officer was unable to find any physical evidence of a cougar.

There were several suspected cougar sightings on the peninsula this June, but neither those nor the ones this week around Ocean Park were officially reported or investigated by WDFW.

To report any signs of dangerous wildlife, you can send an email to Wildcomm@dfw.wa.gov or call 360-902-2936 Option 1 between the hours of 7 a.m.-5 p.m. After those hours you can call the State Patrol Non-emergency number, which is 360-484-3130 in our area.

If you have questions about living in cougar country, check out WDFW’s Living With Wildlife page at https://tinyurl.com/WDFW-cougar-info.

A property owner or the owner’s immediate family, employee, or tenant may kill a cougar on that property if it is damaging domestic animals. No permit is required.

The killing of a cougar in self-defense, or defense of another, should be reasonable and justified. A person taking such action must have reasonable belief that the cougar poses a threat of serious physical harm, that this harm is imminent, and the action is the only reasonable available means to prevent that harm.

The body of any cougar, whether taken under the direct authority of state law, or for the protection of a person, remains the property of the state and must be turned over to WDFW immediately.

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