VANCOUVER, Wash. – A cougar was found dead alongside the highway on the outskirts of Camas this morning, after apparently being hit by a car, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The cougar, an adult male weighing an estimated 120 pounds, was spotted by the side of State Route 14 west of Camas at approximately 7 a.m. by a state trooper, who notified the regional WDFW office in Vancouver.
WDFW Enforcement Officer Bill Lantiegne transported the cougar's carcass to the agency's Vancouver office, where it will be examined to determine the age and other characteristics of the animal.
"This appears to be a highway accident, pure and simple," Lantiegne said. "It looks like this cougar just wandered too close to the highway."
Lantiegne said the Vancouver WDFW office receives several calls each year from residents of Clark County reporting cougar sightings, but that highway accidents involving cougars are relatively rare.
"Usually cougars are more cautious than that," Lantiegne said.
The cougar population in Washington state has been growing in recent years, and is now estimated at more than 2,500 animals.