Cougar shot, killed after trapping Cascade Locks woman and her baby

CASCADE LOCKS, OR (KPTV) – For the second time this month, a cougar was shot and killed in the Columbia River Gorge. 

On June 6, a cougar was shot after it killed two goats and tried entering a home in Bridal Veil.

Friday night, there was a similar encounter in Cascade Locks.

Emily Elliot says it was shortly after 9 p.m. when she arrived at her home on John Quincy Avenue, after running errands. Her 10-month-old son, Waylon, was fast asleep in his car seat.

“I decided to leave him in there while I was unloading,” she said.

With her dog, Willie, by her side, Elliot put up the groceries. Her car and her son were both still in sight.

According to Elliot, she then went to get a bag of dog food from a nearby shed, when Willie alerted her of a cougar that was standing nearby — watching them.

“All the fur on his back went up and he scurried,” Elliot said. 

She tells FOX 12, at the time, she was aware the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office had reported three cougar sightings in the area, within the past two weeks. 

“In my heart I knew a cougar’s out there,” said Elliot. “I just immediately stood up tall and just called my dog to me in a really stern voice.” 

The new mom says, the cougar was hissing and growling at her dog. Elliot then backed away toward her car, where her baby was still fast asleep. 

According to Elliot, she had one thing in mind: “I need to get in the car. I need to get in and shut the door.” 

But, she feared the cougar would follow her and hurt her son, so Elliot made the difficult decision to head toward her RV instead. 

“You just have all the feelings going through you, like I’m a horrible mom,” she said. 

Frantic, she called 911 but when a deputy arrived the cougar still had not left.  

“She stayed back there and was scoping him out,” Elliot told FOX 12. “Waylon woke up and was crying really loud.” 

With a rifle in hand, the Hood River County deputy moved toward the big cat, covering Elliot so she could run to her car, grab her baby and head back inside. 

Once the mom and son were safe in the RV, Elliot says she heard two loud gunshots that, according to her, brought the traumatic ordeal to an end. 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the cougar died of a gunshot wound. A spokesman says it was a 2-year-old male cougar and its body will now be transported to ODFW’s lab for a necropsy.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Lawlessness Brings Destruction

From Sportsmen's Alliance. Two bills have been pre-filed that would allow cougar hunting with dogs in Oregon, the most effective means for hunting cougars and controlling their population. Senate Bill 306 sponsored by Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) would permit counties with voter approval to allow dogs to be used for hunting cougars. Senate Bill 340 sponsored by Sen. Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) would establish a 30-day statewide season in which dogs could be used to hunt cougars. In 1994, anti-hunting groups, backed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), bankrolled a ballot issue (Measure 18) which prohibited the use of dogs to hunt black bears and cougars. The initiative was narrowly approved by Oregon voters 52-48 percent. Since then, the state has struggled to contain the population of cougars and bears, an area of concern for livestock ranchers, wildlife professionals and public safety. Over the Labor Day weekend, a woman was killed by a mountain lion in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest while hiking. In neighboring Washington state, which also suffers under a HSUS-backed hounding ban on cougars and bears, two mountain bikers were attacked in May. One of the bikers was killed and was partially consumed by the cougar, which was caching and guarding the body when officials arrived. According to Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are more than 6,600 cougars in Oregon. The numbers are high enough that the apex predators pose a serious risk to livestock, as well as other wildlife populations. Allowing the use of dogs to hunt would help control the population and geographical spread of cougars through selective harvest and conditioning the animal’s to view humans as a possible threat and not prey. “Dogs are a useful tool in selective, ethical hunting, and they should be allowed to help control the growing cougar population in Oregon before they become an even larger public safety concern,” said Luke Houghton, associate director of state services for the Sportsmen’s Alliance.

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