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Dangerous & Problem Wildlife

Dangerous Wildlife Incident Reports


SPECIES
Cougar
 
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT
ON 09/23/12 AT ABOUT 1033 HOURS, WHILE AT THE OFFICE, I RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM WSP DISPATCH CONCERNING A POSSIBLE COUGAR DEPREDATION ON A GOAT. AT 1035 HOURS I SPOKE WITH THE ORIGINAL RP, AND THE GOAT OWNER, BY CELL PHONE CONCERNING THE INCIDENT. THE GOAT OWNER TOLD ME THAT SHE WAS A NEIGHBOR OF THE RP AND THAT THE INCIDENT HAD OCCURRED ON THE RPíS PROPERTY. THE RP SPOKE BROKEN ENGLISH AND HE TOLD ME THAT HE HAD LOST SEVEN GOATS OVER THE PAST 5-6 WEEKS TO WHAT HE BELIEVED WAS A COUGAR. AT ABOUT 1109 HOURS AN OFFICER AND I ARRIVED AT RESIDENCE AND MET WITH THE ORIGINAL RP AND GOATíS OWNER. THEY TOLD ME THAT THEY HAD PREVIOUSLY ATTEMPTED TO CONTACT WDFW BY PHONE TO REPORT THE KILLS BUT THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE CORRECT NUMBERS. THEY ALSO TOLD ME THAT THE BENTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE (BCSO) HAD RESPONDED TWICE, THE FIRST TIME WAS THE PREVIOUS MONDAY AND THE PREVIOUS NIGHT. LATER WSP DISPATCH CONFIRMED THAT BCSO DEPUTIES RESPONDED TO THE SCENE PREVIOUSLY. THE GOATíS OWNER TOLD ME THAT SHE WAS CONCERNED FOR HER GOATS BUT THAT SHE HAD NOT LOST ANY GOATS AND HAD NOT HEARD OF ANY OTHERS BESIDES THE RPíS BEING LOST. THE RP TOLD US THAT THEY INITIALLY HAD FOURTEEN GOATS TOTAL AND NOW HAD EIGHT LEFT. THEY ALSO HAD 6-7 COWS AND ONE LLAMA IN THE PASTURE. HE TOLD ME THAT ALL THE GOATS WERE ADULTS, THAT THEY RAISE THE GOATS FOR MEAT AND THAT HE BELIEVED THAT THEY WERE WORTH ABOUT $250 A PIECE. THE RP TOLD US THAT ON 09/22/12 AT ABOUT 2000 HOURS HE DISCOVERED THE DEAD GOAT IN HIS PASTURE, JUST TO THE SOUTH OF THE PROPERTY, AND HE SAW THAT IT APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN KILLED BY A COUGAR. HE TOLD ME THAT IT WAS THE SEVENTH GOAT KILLED IN APPROXIMATELY 5-6 WEEKS, APPROXIMATELY ONE GOAT PER WEEK HAD BEEN KILLED. HE TOLD ME THAT ALL THE GOATS HAD BEEN KILLED AND CONSUMED IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH A COUGAR AND NOT DOGS. HE SAID THE PREVIOUS SIX GOATS HAD BEEN FED ON FROM THE FRONT SHOULDER IN AND THAT THE PREDATOR HAD NOT FED ON THE ENTRAILS OR ORGANS. HE ALSO SAID THAT THE GOAT CARCASSES DID NOT HAVE WOUNDS ON THEIR FLANKS OR REAR LEGS WHICH WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH COYOTE OR DOG ATTACKS. WE FOLLOWED THE RP INTO THEIR PASTURE AND I SAW THAT THE GOAT CARCASS FOUND THE PREVIOUS NIGHT WAS LOCATED IN THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE PROPERTY NEAR THE WEST FENCE LINE. THE CARCASS HAD BLOOD AND PUNCTURE WOUNDS ON THE NECK AREA AND I SAW THAT THERE WERE NO OTHER WOUNDS APPARENT ON THE REMAINDER OF THE CARCASS. IT APPEARED THAT THE GOAT HAD BEEN KILLED BY A SINGLE BITE TO THE NECK. I WAS TOLD THAT THEY HAD SAT IN THE PASTURE NEAR THE GOAT LATER THAT NIGHT TO WAIT FOR THE PREDATOR TO RETURN. THEY BOTH TOLD ME THAT AT ABOUT 2300 HOURS, WHILE THEY SAT CONCEALED IN A BRUSH PILE, THAT THE COUGAR APPEARED IN THE PASTURE. THEY SHOWED ME THE AREA WHERE THEY HAD OBSERVED THE COUGAR. THEY TOLD ME THAT IT WAS ABOUT 30-40 FEET AWAY WHEN THEY OBSERVED IT AND THAT THEY HAD USED A FLASH LIGHT. THEY SAID THAT IT HAD CROSSED THE FIELD FROM WEST TO EAST AS IT STALKED THEIR SINGLE LLAMA. I WAS TOLD SOMEONE SHOT 2-3 TIMES AT THE COUGAR BUT IT WAS BELIEVED THAT HE HAD MISSED. HE SAID THE COUGAR HAD TURNED, RAN TO THE SOUTH AND JUMPED OVER A 5 FOOT FENCE. HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT THEY HAD DISCOVERED COUGAR TRACKS ON THE CANAL ROAD JUST TO THE SOUTH OF THE PROPERTY. THEY SHOWED US 2-3 OTHER GOAT CARCASSES IN THE PASTURE THAT HAD BEEN KILLED IN RECENT WEEKS. THE CARCASS WERE MOSTLY DECOMPOSED AND THEY HAD BEEN PARTIALLY BURIED BY THE BROTHERS. THEY TOLD ME THAT SOME OF THE CARCASSES HAD BEEN DRUG A SHORT DISTANCE AFTER THE KILL BUT THAT ALL WERE STILL IN THE PASTURE. THEY TOLD US THAT NONE OF THE GOAT CARCASSES HAD BEEN MISSING AND THAT ALL WERE FOUND STILL IN THE PASTURE. I ALSO SAW A MAKE SHIFT LIVE TRAP ON THE EAST FENCE LINE OF THE PROPERTY. THEY TOLD US THAT THEY HAD BUILT THE DEVICE TO ATTEMPT TO TRAP THE COUGAR BUT THAT IT HAD NOT WORKED. I SAW THAT THEY HAD USED PORTIONS OF A DEAD GOAT AS BAIT INSIDE THE TRAP. ON THE NORTH SHOULDER OF THE CANAL ROAD WE FOUND SEVERAL TRACKS IN THE SOFT DIRT THAT WERE CONSISTENT WITH COUGAR. I ALSO SAW A FEW COYOTE AND LATER DOMESTIC DOG TRACKS. THE CANAL ROAD IS LOCATED TO THE SOUTH OF THEIR PROPERTY. OFFICERS REMOVED THE SKIN FROM PORTIONS OF THE GOAT'S NECK, BACK AND FRONT LEGS. WE FOUND FOUR LARGE PUNCTURE WOUNDS IN THE GOATS NECK, TWO ON EACH SIDE, CONSISTENT WITH CANINE TEETH. THE LARGE PUNCTURES PENETRATED THROUGH THE SKIN AND INTO THE MUSCLE TISSUE IN THE NECK. THE MEASUREMENT BETWEEN EACH SET OF PUNCTURES WAS ABOUT THREE INCHES. THERE WAS A SMALL AMOUNT OF BRUISING UNDER THE SKIN ON THE NECK WHERE THE BITE HAD OCCURRED. IT APPEARED THAT THE GOAT HAD BEEN KILLED WITH A SINGLE BITE TO THE FRONT OF THE NECK WHICH RESULTED IN SUFFOCATION. THE CARCASS HAD NOT BEEN FED ON OR MOVED. WHILE ON SCENE THE OFFICERS TOOK SEVERAL DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS. ON 09/23/12 AT ABOUT 2000 HOURS, OFFICERS RETURNED TO THE PASTURE. I SAW THAT THE GOAT CARCASS WAS STILL THERE AND THAT IT HAD NOT BEEN FED UPON. OFFICERS WAITED IN THE PASTURE UNTIL MIDNIGHT BUT THE COUGAR DID NOT RETURN WHILE WE WERE THERE.
 
REPORT INFORMATION
Date/Time of Incident: September 23, 2012
Date of Report: September 23, 2012
Location: 48000 BLOCK OF PRSE
City: Kennewick
County: Benton
Game Management Unit: 373