QUILCENE — A second cougar has been shot in Quilcene after it was seen prowling an area near Quilcene School, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Apeland said.
The cougar was shot and killed last Friday on a Center Road property close to the school campus, Apeland said.
The school was placed on lockdown Friday after the property owner reported seeing a cougar stalking his livestock at 12:37 p.m.
“One of our deputies responded and shot the animal in the back yard,” Apeland said Monday.
Another mountain lion was shot and killed in Quilcene by a sheriff’s deputy May 23 after it was seen eating a house cat or other small animal under a vehicle on Muncie Avenue.
The Muncie Avenue cougar was reportedly emaciated and “had something wrong with it,” Sheriff Joe Nole said.
Apeland said the animal that was shot Friday appeared to be a normal weight and was not exhibiting unusual behavior.
Quilcene School also was placed on lockdown May 23 after a cougar was seen on the football field, Nole said.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife was unable to respond to the Friday cougar sighting because officers were on detail in Neah Bay, Apeland said.
Fish and Wildlife officials took possession of both carcasses for analysis, Apeland said. Agency officials were not immediately available for comment Monday.
Apeland said there had been an unusually large number of cougar sightings in the Quilcene area in recent weeks.
Four cougars were seen on one security camera image taken recently just outside of Quilcene, Apeland said.
“None of them were small kittens,” Apeland added.
Meanwhile, wildlife officials in Leavenworth used dogs to track a cougar after it attacked a 4-year-old child at a city park Saturday.
The child was not seriously hurt, authorities said. The Leavenworth cougar was euthanized early Sunday, state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said.
To report a problem with a cougar or black bear, call Fish and Wildlife’s regional office at 360-249-4628.
Call 9-1-1 if there is an immediate emergency.
“Public safety is important to us,” Apeland said.
“We’ll respond to anything we can to help protect our citizens, including wildlife calls.”
Here are some tips from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife on what to do if you encounter a cougar.
• Stop, pick up small children and don’t run. Running and rapid movements might trigger an attack. At close range, a cougar’s instinct is to chase.
• Face the cougar. Talk to it firmly while slowly backing away. Always leave the animal an escape route.
• Try to appear larger than the cougar. Get above it by stepping onto a rock or stump. If wearing a jacket, hold it open to increase your apparent size. If you are in a group, stand shoulder-to-shoulder.
• Do not take your eyes off the cougar or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
• Never approach the cougar, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens, and never offer it food.
• If the cougar does not flee, be more assertive. If it shows signs of aggression — crouches with ears back, teeth bared, hissing, tail twitching and hind feet pumping — shout, wave your arms and throw any available objects.
• If the cougar attacks, fight back. Be aggressive and try to stay on your feet.
For information on cougars, go to www.tinyurl.com/PDN-cougars.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].