There was a recent report of a cougar sighting in Wenatchee - as reported on the Nextdoor app

 

“Hi, neighbors...

Just out walking near Seattle Avenue / Welch Street.  (by Wenatchee’s Lewis & Clark Park) One of the residents told me to be on the lookout, as there was a cougar in his yard with the last snowfall (Thursday, December 7th)

I left a message with fish and wildlife.” -Alicia L. from Wenatchee

CLICK HERE to see the area on Google Maps

Back in February of 2016, Wenatchee Outdoors republished an article on the “Cougars of Dry Gulch.”

The updated article was in response to an email sent to Wenatchee Outdoors, from Chuck Largent (then caretaker of the Saddlerock trail system) concerning cougar tracks seen by 3 hikers in January and February of 2016 in the Dry Gulch trail system. 


“You might want to inform readers that these animals are out there where folks are hiking. They follow the deer down and will be here through the winter. Just keep your eyes open!” -Chuck Largent

 

 

How Many have Been Killed by Cougars in Washington in the Past 100 years?

Cougars are the most elusive and least aggressive of the world's big cats.  They usually want to avoid you and not be seen. We are seen by cougars a lot more than we see them.

There have only been two deaths in Washington by mountain lions in the past 99 years.

The last known fatality in Washington by a cougar happened in May of 2018 - to a mountain biker in the wooded foothills north of Mount Si outside North Bend.

Before that - we have to go back, to the year 1924 - when a human was killed by a cougar in Okanogan County.

 

Here is an Abbreviated Safety Guide to Cougars

This was written by the BC Ministry of the Environment to know if you come upon a cougar in your yard or out on a hike, trail run, or bike ride.

 

Children and Cougars

Cougars seem to be attracted to children, possibly because their high-pitched voices, small size, and erratic movements make it difficult for cougars to identify them as human and not prey.

Consider getting a dog for your children as an early warning system.

Make sure children are home before dusk and stay inside until after dawn.

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Hiking in Cougar Country

Hike in groups of two or more. Make enough noise to prevent surprising a cougar.

Carry a sturdy walking stick to be used as a weapon if necessary.

 

If you Meet a Cougar

Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.

Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice (editors note - I’ve been told to yell at it and get loud. I’ve always had my Apple iTunes, on my smartphone set to play “Eye of the Tiger” at volume 11 if I see a cat on the singletrack.)

Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.

Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.

 

If a Cougar Behaves Aggressively:

Arm yourself with a large stick, throw rocks, and speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat, not prey.

 

If a Cougar Attacks

Fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.

 

INFO: NWPB, Wenatchee Outdoors, Nextdoor app, BC Ministry of the Environment

Hiking Safety Tips

Before you head off on your hike, let's go over a few tips to help keep you safe. It's best to be overprepared than underprepared, especially when it comes to your safety.

Gallery Credit: Cort Freeman

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