OLYMPIA – Enforcement officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) set a trap today in Seattle’s Discovery Park in an attempt to capture a cougar that could be in the area.
The trap was set after the department received another report of a cougar sighting in the area. Since Tuesday, the department has received three reports of cougar sightings in Seattle – two in the Magnolia area and one in the Greenwood area.
Meanwhile, Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Discovery Park to the public until Monday, Sept. 7, when park personnel and enforcement officers will reassess the situation. The park could reopen earlier if a cougar is captured, said Capt. Bill Hebner, who heads WDFW’s North Puget Sound enforcement program.
Enforcement officers also will be searching the park with the aid of two Karelian bear dogs that are trained to help track and locate bears and cougars.
“We are treating these reports seriously and doing what we can within an urban setting to capture and relocate the animal,” Hebner said.
Residents near the park should be aware that a cougar could be in the area, Hebner said. People living in the area can take a few safety precautions, including keeping small pets inside the house and closely supervising children playing outdoors, he said. For more information on preventing conflicts with cougars, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/cougars.htm.
Anyone who sees a cougar should call WDFW’s Mill Creek office at 425-775-1311 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. After hours or on the weekends, people can call the local Washington State Patrol office or 911.