ISSAQUAH– A state wildlife biologist and a wildlife enforcement officer will discuss recent cougar sightings and offer public safety pointers during an Issaquah City Council meeting Monday (Sept. 20).
Rocky Spencer, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) wildlife biologist and Sgt. Mike Peck, a WDFW enforcement officer based in North Bend, will brief council members during the council's regular meeting at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 20 at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Highway.
They will discuss possible reasons for the recent cougar sightings and review safety procedures for those who live or recreate in cougar country. Both Spencer and Peck have responded to many complaints involving cougars during their lengthy careers with the department; in addition Spencer has participated in wildlife studies of cougars.
Local police recently killed a juvenile cougar believed to be responsible for the deaths of several domestic pets here. State wildlife officers also recently have attempted to capture and relocate another cougar sighted in the area.
Much of the increase in cougar sightings statewide is believed to be due to increases in both cougar and human populations and residential development and outdoor recreation which brings humans into cougar habitat. The recent increase in sightings also may be partly due to the fact that September is a prime month for young cougars reaching maturity to leave their mothers and attempt to establish their own territory, according to Spencer. Some of those inexperienced juvenile cougars may wander into developed areas.
For more information, please see our Cougar Fact Sheet.