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Dangerous & Problem Wildlife

Dangerous Wildlife Incident Reports


SPECIES
Cougar
 
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT
ON 09/21/2012 AT ABOUT 1850 HRS, I RECEIVED A CELL CALL FROM THE RP. IN THE PAST YEAR SHE HAS HAD FOUR SHEEP KILLED IN THREE SEPARATE INCIDENTS OF PREDATION BY CARNIVORES. SOME OF THESE INCIDENTS HAD CLEARER INDICATIONS OF CAUSE THAN OTHERS. IN ALL THREE THERE WERE MOSTLY INDICATIONS OF COUGAR PREDATIONS. ALSO, SEVERAL OTHER SIGHTINGS AND UNRELATED PREDATIONS HAVE OCCURRED WITHIN THIS SAME TIME FRAME WITHIN 3 MILES OF THIS SITE. ON THIS CALL SHE ADVISED THAT SHE HAD FOUND A EWE HAD BEEN KILLED AND ONLY FED UPON IN THE INTERIOR THORACIC CAVITY. IT WAS NOT "CACHED" AND WAS IN BOULDERS THAT INDICATED NO VISIBLE TRACKS. THERE WERE BITE INDICATIONS ON THE TOP OF THE NECK AND THROAT. AS I WAS JUST RETURNING FROM AN EXHAUSTING DAY OF RIFLE TRAINING IN 90+ DEGREE HEAT, HAVING WORKED 12 HOURS ALREADY, SHE WAS OKAY IF I WAITED UNTIL MORNING TO ARRIVE. ALL OTHER PERSONNEL WERE IN THE SAME SPENT CONDITION. I CALLED A DEPREDATION HUNTER AND HE AGREED TO RESPOND AFTER HE WAS DONE WITH SOME PERSONAL ISSUES AND CHECK THE AREA WITH HOUNDS. DUE TO THE HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS AND THE FACT THE SHEEP LIKELY DIED EARLIER THAT AM OR LATE THE NIGHT BEFORE, THE LIKELIHOOD OF A TRACK WAS SLIM. AT 0830 THE NEXT DAY I ARRIVED AND MET THE DEPREDATION HUNTER AND THE RP AND SON AT HER YARD. THE HUNTERS AND I WENT OVER THE HILL TO EXAMINE THE SHEEP. SINCE LAST PM COYOTES AND BIRDS HAD FED UPON THE BACK STRAPS AND ONE THIGH AND CONSUMED THE MEAT AND DAMAGED TISSUE ON THE NECK. THERE WAS NO SIGNS OF A MAJOR STRUGGLE, LOOKING INSTEAD LIKE WHATEVER DID IT TOOK IT DOWN NEARLY RIGHT THERE AND DRAGGED IT TO ITS FINAL RESTING PLACE WITH LITTLE THRASHING. ON THE RIGHT SHOULDER WAS A LACERATION CONSISTENT WITH A SHARP CLAW CAUSE. THE BASE OF THE JAW AT THE THROAT ON ONE SIDE SHOWED "GRAPE JELLY" CONSISTENCY TISSUE DAMAGE LIKELY FROM THE PRE-MORTEM. INSIDE THE THORACIC CAVITY, WAS INDICATIONS THE DIGESTIVE TRACK (PAUNCH) WAS TORN OUT AND HERE WERE RAGGED EDGED BITES TO THE REMAINING PARTS OF THE LIVER TISSUES. ALL PREDATORS WILL EAT THIS, BUT COUGAR TYPICALLY WILL FEED ON THESE FIRST. THERE WAS STILL NO INDICATIONS OF FEEDING ON THE POSTERIOR OF THE CARCASS LIKE CANIDS OFTEN DO. THE SCENE WAS NOT "MESSY" AND SPREAD OUT LIKE DOGS AND, IN THE LATER STAGES OF CONSUMPTION, OTHER CANIDS DO. IT WAS IN BOULDERS AND THERE WERE NO TRACKS TO SEE, NOR WERE SCATS OBSERVED. THE HEAD WAS REMOVED AND TAKEN BACK TO MY TRUCK FOR SKINNING AND CLOSER INSPECTION. BACK AT MY TRUCK, I NOTED WHAT APPEARED TO BE ANOTHER PRE-MORTEM LACERATION TO THE UPPER CENTRAL NOSE(BRIDGE). THERE WAS PRE-MORTEM TRAUMA TO THE SIDE OF THE FACE AND THE LOWER JAW AS EARLIER NOTED. THERE WERE NOT BITES TO THE FACE, NOR EARS, OFTEN INDICATIVE OF CANID ATTACKS WHEN THE SHEEP WHEELS TO FACE THE ATTACKER. THIS SHEEP APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN DOWN QUICKLY AND FIRMLY, AND WAS UNABLE TO EFFECTIVELY OFFER MUCH RESISTANCE, BEING EFFICIENTLY KILLED BEFORE MUCH STRUGGLE. AGAIN, THIS IS MORE CONSISTENT WITH THE EFFICIENT NATURE BY WHICH A CAT KILLS ITS PREY. BASED ON THIS ANALYSIS, THE TOTALITY OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVIDENCE, AND THE CONTINUATION OF INCIDENTS ALL OVER POGUE FLAT, I ISSUED A 30 DAY DEPREDATION PERMIT FOR COUGAR, BUT ALLOWING FOR BEAR IF ONE IS FOUND IN PROXIMITY. DRY AND HOT WEATHER WILL IMPEDE SUCCESS. WE NEED MOISTURE TO MAKE TRACKING EASIER. (BEAR IS STILL A POSSIBILITY IN EVEN THIS INCIDENT.)
 
REPORT INFORMATION
Date/Time of Incident: September 20, 2012
Date of Report: September 22, 2012
Location: 200 BLOCK OF JOHNSON CREEK RD
City: Omak
County: Okanogan
Game Management Unit: 233