First day of tracking killer cougar near Mt. Hood: no fresh signs of the animal

KPTV photo.

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.

“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.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.