Aberdeen Police are sharing a photo of a cougar spotted on Think-Of-Me Hill just before 1 AM Sunday morning at a home near Pioneer Boulevard and Randolph Street. The cougar was reportedly stalking a neighborhood cat at the time.
Police encourage residents in the area to take extra precautions regarding the safety of their children and pets.
Animal Control and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife have been advised, although they also noted that the Animal Control Officer primarily deals with domestic animal related calls. For matters involving wildlife, citizens are encouraged to call WildComm (WDFW) at #1-877-933-9847.
Scott Harris, a Wildlife Conflict Specialist for our area says if you spot a cougar, first make sure you are at a safe distance and not in danger, then contact his office in Montesano at 360-249-4628 to report the sighting directly to them.
“Do’s and Don’ts” in Cougar Country
While recreating in cougar habitat, you should:
- Hike in small groups and make enough noise to avoid surprising a cougar.
- Keep your camp clean and store food and garbage in double plastic bags.
- Keep small children close to the group, preferably in plain sight just ahead of you.
- Do not approach dead animals, especially deer or elk; they could have been cougar prey left for a later meal.
If you encounter a cougar:
- Stop, stand tall and don’t run. Pick up small children. Don’t run. A cougar’s instinct is to chase.
- Do not approach the animal, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens.
- Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
- If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
- If the cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife responds to cougar and bear sightings when there is a threat to public safety or property. If it is an emergency, dial 911.
If you experience a cougar or black bear problem, and it is not an emergency, contact the nearest regional Department of Fish and Wildlife office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
or WildComm (WDFW) at #1-877-933-9847.
If you need to report a non-emergency problem when Department of Fish and Wildlife offices are closed, contact the Washington State Patrol or nearest law enforcement agency by calling the non-emergency dispatch number (360) 533-8765.