ZIGZAG, OR (KPTV) - Wildlife officials found and killed an adult female cougar Friday in the Hunchback Mountain Trail area near Mt. Hood, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Wildlife officials have not confirmed if the animal is the same cougar that killed Diana Bober.
The dead cougar is being transported by Oregon State Police to a laboratory in Ashland.
Authorities at the laboratory will analyze evidence from the cougar and compare it with evidence collected from the area on the trail where Bober was found dead earlier this week.
Bober’s body was found Sept. 10 nearly two miles from the Hunchback Mountain trailhead, but it wasn’t until an autopsy the next day that officials said it became clear that she was killed by a cougar.
Bober, 55, of Gresham, was reported missing Sept. 7. Investigators said her death marked the first verified deadly attack by a wild cougar in Oregon.
FOX 12 spoke with Diana’s Bober’s sister Alison Friday night. Earlier in the week, FOX 12 spoke with Alison as she expressed that her family had some closure knowing how her sister died.
After learning a cougar was killed, she said there’s even more of a conclusion to the awful and unprecedented attack.
“I'm hopeful that this is the cougar and that will be the best for everyone,” Alison said. “You know you just can't take the chance that it will attack someone else.”
Alison touched on how she can understand the strong opinions on both sides of whether to kill the animal.
“I can see strong reasons for all of it," Alison said. "As humans push into wild areas, why is that wild animals have to be moved out? On the other hand, when you don't have a lot of problems with a wild animal, you know, how can we best co-exist with them, and that's by dealing just with the troublesome ones."
FOX 12 asked Alison what she thinks her sister would want as the conclusion.
“Well, I think it would make her sad that the cougar had to die, but I think it also would make her sad that a human had to die in this case herself,” Alison said.
She says despite the grief, she and her family are overwhelmed with the incredible support they have received.
“Renewed my faith in humanity how everyone involved in this took to their heart this one woman and just brought in so much time and resources and heart to find her and then to make sure that the community was safe after that,” Alison said.
According to Alison's sister, family members are together in Virginia this weekend and plan to go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. She says Mexican food was Diana's favorite. At the restaurant, they plan to raise a glass in Diana's honor, tell stories and celebrate her life.
Wildlife officials Thursday started searching for the animal, but were not immediately successful. The search continued Friday to the west of the Hunchback Mountain Trail.
On Friday, officials say the cougar walked in front of a remote camera that crews had set up just a few feet from where Bober’s backpack was found on the trail several weeks ago.
Hounds were later able to pick up the animal’s scent and trail it up into a tree, where officials were able to shoot it with a rifle, according to ODFW.
Wildlife officials expect it will take at least three days before test results are available.
ODFW says it will share additional information at a press conference Saturday.
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