SILVER LAKE–Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers believe a cougar shot several times yesterday after killing a goat is dead.
However, a search today by several WDFW enforcement officers in heavy brush failed to produce the cougar's carcass.
Enforcement Capt. Bill Hebner asked local residents to be alert for the cat. He noted that wounded cougars normally hide. He said they are not aggressive. Anyone spotting a cougar should contact WDFW at (425) 775-1311 or the State Patrol at (360) 658-2588.
"There is no reason to panic and we will monitor the situation carefully," Hebner said.
Hebner said WDFW yesterday received a call from a resident of the area south of Everett who reported the cougar had killed and buried one of his goats. The man saw the cougar in a tree near the concealed goat. He told officers he had fired at the cat with a .22 rifle before calling WDFW. Silver Lake is between the Eastmont area of south Everett and the Snohomish River.
The animal left and WDFW officers, accompanied by a houndsman and his dogs, trailed the animal into deep, steep brush along the Snohomish River.
The dogs treed the cougar and an enforcement officer shot it. Hebner said the officer attempted to kill the cougar because it had become a threat to public safety and property. WDFW policy authorizes officers to euthanize dangerous wildlife that have killed or injured livestock.
Hebner said instead of dropping from the tree, the cougar descended and threatened the houndsman who shot it with a pistol. The cougar then escaped into the brush.
Hebner said a search last night failed to produce the cat's body. He added that the dogs also could not find the cougar.
Several WDFW officers resumed the search this morning but failed to find the animal.
WDFW officers and dogs attempted to find the Silver Lake cougar last weekend after several sightings. Hebner said the animal eluded them because hounds had to be kept on leashes due to heavy vehicle traffic in the area.
WDFW officers last Tuesday captured a cougar in downtown Kent and relocated the animal to the Cascades. Hebner explained the cougar was released alive because it had not threatened public safety or property.