A female cougar has been shot following three days of recent neighborhood sightings in east Springfield. On July 24, at approximately 1 p.m., a resident in the area of 30th and Olympic Street called to report children at play in a swimming pool were stalked by the large adult cougar.
Several additional calls from residents in the area caused police to enlist the assistance of local tracker, Brandon Nuniz with Cascade Adventures, who used a trained bloodhound to help police tree the cat, which after nearly four hours of significant human activity in the neighborhood, had remained in shrubbery just one house south of where it had been seen on a fence near the children in the swimming pool.
Police consulted with ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife) in concluding the only safe and timely option was to shoot and kill the 2-year-old, 70-pound female adult cougar. The cougar was taken to ODFW, where a necropsy may reveal if the animal was driven to the area by ailment or in search of prey.
Cougars are predatory animals and the daytime behavior of the cat created concern for experts, who worried the cougar may be feeding on pets and livestock. Experts also worried the sounds of children at play had drawn the cat to the swimming pool.