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Leavenworth man shoots and kills cougar

LEAVENWORTH, Wash - A rural Leavenworth resident who keeps a herd of goats noticed a young cougar sitting in a tree nearby Wednesday, and fatally shot the animal.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Ofc. Eric Boyd investigated, and said yesterday the landowner did not act improperly. "There was no violation," Boyd said. "It had the appearance of defending themselves and their property."

The landowner, in the area of East Leavenworth Road, had been warned by a neighbor that a cougar had been seen crossing property nearby. Armed with a handgun while tending the goats, the landowner spotted the cougar in the tree and fired. 

The incident took place in mid- to late afternoon, and was reported about 4:20 p.m. Boyd arrived to collect the carcass, and said the cougar did not appear emaciated or unhealthy. He estimated it to be less than a year old.

"We have a huge increase in cougar reports this time of year, because cougars tend to move down toward valley bottoms, which tend to be populated areas," he said. "Winter is a difficult time for them, because they’re trying to get some food to survive the cold."'

If residents routinely see deer moving through their neighborhoods, then cougar incursions are more likely as the big cats pursue game. Boyd said people with livestock or pets should bring them indoors or into shelter after daylight hours, to avoid cougar conflicts.

 

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