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July 6, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Cougar found in Portland backyard euthanized

PORTLAND (AP) — Oregon wildlife officials have euthanized a cougar that was captured in the backyard of a Portland home.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials made the decision to euthanize the animal late Friday. The decision was made for public-safety reasons because the animal had become used to the city and had lost its fear of people, officials said.

Residents called police just before 3 p.m. Friday to report the cougar sitting in a tree in a densely populated Portland neighborhood.

After the cat spent three hours in the tree under police monitoring, wildlife officials tranquilized the animal with a dart and safely removed it from the tree.

The cougar was placed in a cage and euthanized awhile later.

Residents have reported multiple cougar sightings in Portland in recent days, and officials said it might have been the same cougar.

One resident reported her cat had been killed by an animal — the only thing that remained of the pet was the cat’s tail and a paw.

Residents also reported cougar sightings in Hillsboro, 20 miles from Portland.

In March, Oregon wildlife officials euthanized two cougars in Eugene — the animals were blamed for killing two goats and several chickens.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has said older cougars are not good candidates for being relocated to zoos or other facilities, because relocation could create territorial conflicts among the big cats and spread disease. The state does relocate cougar kittens.

Under Oregon statute, landowners experiencing damage by a cougar may kill the offending animal without a permit from state wildlife officials.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: cougar, euthanized, Portland

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