LEAVENWORTH – The young cougar believed to have bitten a man on the lower leg was shot and killed by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) enforcement officer responding to a report that the animal had killed a house cat at a nearby property last night.
The cougar, a female weighing less than 30 pounds, appeared to be under a year old, said WDFW Officer Graham Grant.
“It was small and emaciated, matching the description of the animal that bit a man on the leg two nights earlier,” Grant said. “It’s mother probably kicked it out of the den before it could develop any real hunting skills.”
On Tuesday evening, Alex Schmidt was throwing a stick for his dog in his driveway at 9097 Icicle Rd. when a cougar emerged from the brush and grabbed him by his leg, mid-calf, Grant said. WDFW officers searched the area with the help of a registered hound hunter and five dogs but could not locate the cougar, he said.
Schmidt was treated at a nearby medical center for shallow puncture wounds and released.
Last night, Harriet Bullitt called WDFW to report that a cougar had just killed her cat on the grounds of the Sleeping Lady resort, located approximately one mile south of the Schmidt property. Bullitt, past president of KING Broadcasting Co., owns the resort and KOHO radio in Leavenworth.
Officers, joined by the hound hunter and his dogs, located the cat, treed it and shot it. They then took the cougar to an area veterinarian to be tested for rabies and other diseases.
“We take our responsibility to protect public safety and personal property very seriously,” Grant said. “We hate to shoot an animal, but we ran out of options with this one.”