Cougar enters Ephrata home, authorities tranquilize it

EPHRATA, Wash. — Ephrata homeowners got a bit of a surprise on Tuesday when a cougar came wandering through their neighborhood and later went into someone’s home, where it was shot — twice — with a tranquilizer gun.

April Longwill shared video she said her husband took, showing the animal scrambling up a fence and into a backyard.

Ephrata Police said that cougar ended up clawing through a screen door and entered someone’s home.

Authorities with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife quickly tranquilized the big cat with a dart, but the animal kept running into the kitchen.

The cougar climbed up onto the kitchen sink and tried to jump out the window above it, according to Heather VanPaepeghem with the police department.

DWFW Police tranquilized the cougar a second time and it finally went to sleep, right in the sink:


Courtesy: Ephrata Police

Fish & Wildlife took away the animal for relocation.


Courtesy: Ephrata Police

Staci Lehman with WDFW said the cougar is being relocated to a more appropriate area in Douglas County, where it will be farther away from humans and have a proper, natural cougar territory in which to live.

Cougars that are relocated are usually “hazed” with dogs barking during their release or other loud noises to encourage them to avoid humans in the future, Lehman added.

Correction: A previous version said homeowners tranquilized the cougar. That was not the case; Fish & Wildlife tranquilized the cougar, the Ephrata Police Department has clarified.


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