OREGON:  Cougar hunt begins

OREGON: Cougar hunt begins

A group of state and federal fish and wildlife workers are beginning the hunt to find a cougar that’s believed to have killed a hiker from Gresham. Dogs will be used in the hunt that will take place in steep terrain near Hunchback Trail. That’s where the body of Diana Bober, 55, was found Monday.

This is the first known fatal attack by a wild cougar in Oregon’s recorded history. A woman was killed in 2013 at an animal sanctuary while she was cleaning a cat’s enclosure. Earlier this year, a cougar killed a man in Washington state and seriously injured another man.

Wildlife officials say they believe Bober was killed by a cougar, they are making doubly sure. U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists are running DNA tests for confirmation. They are due to be received by the end of this week.

At a news conference, wildlife officials say the hunters will kill any cougars they encounter in the area and take DNA samples. They say capturing and testing the Cougars in that rugged terrain is not possible. The search will be focused on the area where they believe the attack occurred.

It’s estimated there are 6,600 cougars in Oregon. ODFW receives about 400 complaints a year of cougars hurting livestock or threatening the safety of people and pets.