CLAYTON, Wash. - Neighbors along Redman Road in Stevens County are keeping watch over pets and livestock after a cougar attacked and killed a goat.
A photo of the large cat was captured by a Washington Fish and Game officer who, along with a Stevens County Sheriff's deputy, chased the cougar with dogs up a tree. Officials tried to push the cougar back up into the foothills after it killed the goat on Thursday but it came came back for seconds.
"Apparently he was not able to eat the goat, so he was going back because he knew he had killed it, and he wanted his meal," said Jennifer Nelson, who owns 20 acres just a few hundred yards from where the cougar attacked. Nelson said she is not that concerned.
"He's a mature cat, so if I had my choice, I'd rather have the mature cat," she said. "He knows what he's doing rather than young, foolish cats who are going to try and attack my rescue horses."
While the goat may be a goner, Nelson doesn't want the cougar to be killed. She hopes it finds its way back up into the mountains.
"We've got mountain lions, we've got Bobcats, we've got everything out here," Nelson said. "That's part of the beauty of it. You have to respect it - take all precautions you can for your farm, your animals, your family, but know that they're here, too."
On May 22, a cougar killed a mountain biker outside of North Bend - it was later shot and killed. Cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare, there's only been two fatal encounters in Washington in the last 94 years.
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