Trails still closed after cougar attack in park

Trackers haven’t found animal, officials say

PORT ANGELES — Trails in the Heart O’ the Hills area south of Port Angeles remain closed to hikers as trackers continue to search for a cougar that attacked an 8-year-old boy on July 29, according to Olympic National Park.

The trails will remain closed until further notice, said Amos Almy, park spokesperson, in an email on Sunday.

A hound dog team was used only on the day after the attack, on July 30, but the dogs did not find the cougar and can’t be used again until there is a more recent sighting, Almy said.

The cougar attacked the child in the Lake Angeles area and was frightened off by the boy’s mother, who screamed at the big cat until it let her son loose.

Her son was left with minor injuries and was able to hike back to the trailhead on his own, authorities said.

The mother and her son have not been identified and the family has “informed us they are not interested in speaking with the media,” Almy said.

All campers in the area were evacuated after the attack.

Park personnel were notified of the attack at 6:30 p.m. July 29. They arrived quickly to assess and stabilize the child’s medical condition before escorting the family back to the trailhead, Almy said.

The search began at 5 a.m. the following day.

If the cougar is located, it will be euthanized and removed from the park for a necropsy, Almy has said.

“This may provide clues as to why the animal attacked since cougars are rarely seen and attacks on humans are extraordinarily rare,” Almy said.

Olympic National Park, which covers nearly 1 million acres, is considered cougar territory.

Park officials recommend that visitors not hike or jog alone, and keep children within sight and close to adults.

Those who meet a cougar are urged to refrain from running because that could trigger the cougar’s attack instinct. Instead, people should group together, appear as large as possible, keep their eyes on the animal, make lots of noise and shout loudly. Throwing rocks or objects at the cougar also is recommended.

For more information on how to respond to a cougar encounter, see

More in News

Forks reviews 2024 draft budget

Half million in lodging tax requests

Forks Police Department down to one officer

Cities, counties across state struggle in hiring

EYE ON THE PENINSULA: Towne Road, budget before county boards

Government meetings across the North Olympic Peninsula

Mini-home resident escapes fire but dog dies

The residents of a backyard mini-home were not injured in… Continue reading

Firefighters to tour Sequim, Port Angeles with Santa

Donations support toy giveaway in Sequim, food banks in both towns

Pet adoption event today in Port Angeles

The Port Angeles Tractor Supply is hosting pet adoption… Continue reading

Fort Worden PDA approves new business plan

Funding is lacking, but board sees progress

Orange traffic barrels line the sides of U.S. Highway 101 at Ennis Creek for preliminary surveys in preparation for upcoming culvert replacement. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Survey work for fish barrier removal begins in Port Angeles

Some lane closures may be necessary from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Replacement levies on Crescent ballot

Voters to decide measures in February

Sue Ridder and husband Johnny from Vancouver, visiting relatives in Port Townsend, start cleaning some of the 13 Dungeness crab they caught in Port Townsend Bay on Wednesday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Catch of the day

Sue Ridder and husband Johnny from Vancouver, visiting relatives in Port Townsend,… Continue reading