Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff and partners from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services captured and killed a female mountain lion suspected to be involved in an encounter with a jogger in Oregon State University’s Dunn Forest on August 31.
“We believe this aggressive cougar was captured and put down today,” said Brian Wolfer, ODFW watershed manager. “Cougars are territorial so few cougars will use the same area. The fact that the cougar was caught so close to the site of the encounter is another indication it is the correct cougar. Finally, the cougar killed fits the description provided by the runner.”
A runner reported that a mountain lion with its ears down (a sign of aggression) approached him despite his attempts to scare the animal away. The runner followed recommended actions by yelling, making himself look larger and then fighting back by kicking the cougar when it got very close. After he kicked the mountain lion, it retreated into the brush, but then reemerged and began chasing after him when he began running from the area. He reported that it followed him until two hikers with a dog arrived on the scene which caused the mountain lion to leave. The runner was not injured by the animal but did suffer from minor scrapes and cuts after tripping while running away.
“The agency’s priority is human safety. We will not relocate a cougar that has shown aggressive behavior. Cougars typically avoid humans, so for the cougar to approach so close that the runner was able to kick it makes it a clear human safety threat,” added Wolfer.
The Dunn Forest is located west of Corvallis and is now reopened to public use.
Find more information here.
(Photo source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)