Cougar euthanized near Selah—YCSO suspects it killed dozens of animals

Selah
Image credit: Yakima County Sheriff's Office, Facebook

SELAH, Wash. — After months of searching, wildlife leaders and law enforcement in the Wenas area of Yakima County located and later euthanized a cougar they believe was responsible for killing dozens of animals in the region over recent months.

According to a post from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to a residence located near Sheep Company Rd & W Huntzinger Rd in Selah for reports of a cougar perched in a tree above the property.

YCSO officials coordinated with officers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, who asked that deputies assist with confronting the cougar. While they did not go into detail, YCSO officials say that “the cougar was dispatched without incident and turned over to the DFW Officers.”

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The social media notice posted by Yakima County authorities inspired a spirited debate amongst community members. Some thanked local law enforcement, claiming they or their loved ones lost animals because of the cougar. Others aruged that the animal shouldn’t have been euthanized since people have infringed on its natural territory, effectively separating it from its natural habitat.

One way or another, cougar sightings are becoming increasingly common in Southeastern Washington—particularly in parts of the Tri-Cities area. Cougar sightings have been reported in Pasco and on several occasions, in Kennewick since March 2022. Some have been shot while others were tranquilized and relocated.

RELATED: Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies find, shoot, and kill cougar citing ‘safety concerns’

If you are encountered by a cougar, don’t run! That may trigger its natural predatory instincts. Instead, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife suggests that you face the cougar, talk to it firmly and slowly back away.

For complete details on what to do in the case of a confrontation, click here.

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