Cougar found inside Oregon motel euthanized - KPTV - FOX 12

Cougar found inside Oregon motel euthanized

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THE DALLES, OR (KPTV) -

A 2-year-old male cougar found in a hotel complex in The Dalles was euthanized on Tuesday.

Around 9:30 a.m., police responded to an incident at the Oregon Motor Motel downtown after reports of a wild animal within the building.

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the animal was in a room under construction down a narrow walkway.

The owner of Oregon Motor Motel told FOX 12 he's the one that initially spotted the cougar in the room. He said it was pitch black and all he could see was the cougar's eyes and teeth.

"He walked out and called the city police department. They had an officer shine a light on it, and the lion stepped out from behind a water heater in that room and screamed at him," said Jeremy Thompson, wildlife biologist with ODFW.

ODFW arrived at the scene and were able to access the room through a vent in the wall. Staff sedated the animal with drugs by a dart gun and transported the cougar off-site and euthanized it in a safe location.

The cougar had been spotted at the same location on March 18, according to a Facebook post seen by ODFW staff.

“But a cougar coming this far into downtown, into the business district and deep into a hotel complex, and not showing fear of people or wariness of urban environments? That's just extremely odd," Jeremy Thompson, ODFW district wildlife biologist said.

ODFW said the cougar was euthanized after being determined a public safety risk.

"Considering this cougar's concerning behavior, it was deemed a public safety risk not suitable for relocation, and so it was euthanized," Thompson said.

The incident marks the sixth time in 2018 that a cougar has been euthanized due to public safety concerns; A Silverton cougar was euthanized on Monday. 

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