WELCHES, OR (KPTV) - Thursday marked the first day of the active search for the cougar that attacked and killed Diana Bober on a Mt. Hood hiking trail.
A team of two men on mules and four hounds set out on the Hunchback Mountain trailhead around 7:00 a.m. Thursday to track the scent of a cougar, but they returned around 1:00 p.m. and reported no fresh signs of the animal.
UPDATE: hound team did not find any fresh sign of a cougar along Hunchback trail today. They’ll head out again in the morning. ODFW: “I think that’s within the parameters of what we would expect... cougars are difficult to find under the best of circumstances.” @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/aT69lg2kS8— Kelsey Watts (@KelseyWattsKPTV) September 13, 2018
“I think that’s within the parameters of what we would expect,” Rick Swart with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said. “It’s a difficult complex process. Cougars are difficult to find under the best of circumstances, and to be out in the rain and in this really steep terrain complicates it considerably.”
Trees that had fallen along the steep and narrow trail made travel difficult for teams, and efforts were made to remove those trees prior to Thursday.
The hound team, returning from the trail and debriefing crews at the command post, said they were happy with the removal work done so far.
The body of Diana Bober was found along the trail about two miles from the trailhead Monday. She’d been missing for several days, and it wasn’t until Tuesday that autopsy results made it clear she was killed by a cougar.
Forensic samples from the scene are being sent to a lab in Ashland and experts with ODFW hope to have those results back by the end of the week.
At a press conference Wednesday, representatives from ODFW said they’d have to first kill the cougar and then take DNA samples for a match, since it doesn’t have the ability to hold a wild cougar while tests are pending.
This marks the first deadly cougar attack in the wild in Oregon history.
Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.