Oregon Authorities Believe They Killed Cougar in Fatal Attack
Oregon officials believe they have killed the cougar that fatally mauled Diana Bober, 55, whose body was recovered Sept. 10 in Mount Hood National Forest.
“It is highly probable that the cougar that killed Diana is the one that we killed last week,” Derek Broman, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carnivore coordinator, said in a statement Sept. 21.
The cougar killed Sept. 14 was detected on a trail camera at the site where the attack occurred. No other cougar has been detected on 31 cameras set up in a roughly 78-square mile area encompassing the attack site.
DNA samples from the cougar and evidence from the attack site were analyzed at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland, OR, but the lab was unable to extract any relevant DNA from evidence collected at the attack scene to use for a comparison to the DNA from the cougar.
“It is impossible to determine why the cougar attacked Diana. There is no sign that it was sick or unhealthy and a rabies test was negative,” Broman said. “Wildlife behavior is unpredictable but cougar attacks are extremely rare throughout the Western U.S. where cougars are found.”
Bober, an experienced hiker, had been missing since Aug. 29 and her body was recovered on Sept. 10. After a medical examination, authorities concluded that her injuries were from a cougar attack. Bober was hiking on the Hunchback Trail in Mount Hood National Forest.
More than 6,600 cougars reside in the state of Oregon and are said to cause more than 400 complaints each year. But this was the first death caused by a cougar in the state. Although this is Oregon’s first-reported cougar attack in the wild, cougars are an ongoing issues with hikers in this area.
This tragic event has shut down the trailhead that leads to the trail where the suspected attack took place until further notice.
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