>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

La Grande, OR forecast
& Eastern Oregon University Valley Cam

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

Today's front page

Image of The Observer's Front Page

Get Home Delivery of The Observer for only $8.50 per month, $9.50 for motor routes. Just click here and after filling out one simple and secure online form you could be on your way to learning more information about local, state and world news.

manage your account »

Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow COUGAR MEETS HIS MATCH IN BAKER CITY


By Jayson Jacoby

For The Observer

BAKER CITY A state wildlife biologist shot and killed an 80-pound male cougar early this morning after police cornered it under a bushy blue spruce tree next to a hotel in downtown Baker City.

Todd Callaway, who works for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Baker City, said he shot the cougar once in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with .00 buckshot.

He fired the shot through an open window in Room 114 at the Bridge Street Inn; that was one of six rooms evacuated earlier to protect motel guests.

Callaway said the cougar was about six feet away.

George Keister, head biologist at ODFWs Baker City office, then fired one shot with a .22-caliber rifle to make sure the cougar didnt suffer.

Although ODFW also has guns that fire tranquilizer darts, Keister, said ODFWs policy prohibits employees from tranquilizing cougars and releasing them elsewhere.

Tranquilizing cougars is a difficult and dangerous task, Keister said. Its impossible to predict the behavior of an animal thats been hit with a tranquilizer dart, Keister said.

We really didnt want it running around town with a dart in it, Callaway said.

Keister said killing the cougar with the shot from the motel room was both the safest and best choice in the situation.

Pam Maxwell, manager of the Bridge Street Inn, said she was asleep in her living quarters at the 40-room motel when police woke her a little after midnight.

According to Oregon State Police, Shea Maliwauki, 20, and Cole Goodwin, 20, both of Baker City, were walking near the Chevron service station less than a block northwest of the motel when they spotted the cougar and watched it run across Old Post Office Square toward the motel.

That was just before midnight.

The pair called police, who then called Callaway and Keister.

Maxwell said police evacuated guests from six rooms that were near the tree where police and the biologists had the cougar at bay.

She said none of the sleepy guests expected to learn there was a wild animal in our back yard.

Maxwell said the guests were allowed to return to their rooms after about 20 minutes.

Maxwell, who watched the cat from Room 114, said the cougar appeared to her to be absolutely scared to death.

It was a sad situation, she said. He was a beautiful cat.

Keister said its likely the cougar stayed under the tree because it felt secure there.

The spruce tree has branches that extend to the ground, and there were two fences in the area as well that kind of boxed it in, he said.

Keister said its impossible to say with certainty why the cougar ventured into downtown Baker City.

Based on the animals weight and size, he estimated its age at 1 to 1.5 years.

Thats about the age at which most cougars part ways with their mother, Keister said.

At that time the young cats start searching for their own territory, he said.

Its possible that older cougars drove the younger animal out of its preferred habitat in unpopulated country, Keister said.

Mature male cougars sometimes kill younger cats that stray into their established territory, he said.

Keister said this is the first case hes confirmed of a cougar roaming near the center of Baker City.

There have been several possible sightings of cougars on the fringes of the city over the past few years, he said.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari

levitra rezeptfrei holland viagra kaufen forum viagra prezzo farmacia commander cialis cialis generico opiniones cialis kaufen kamagra te koop cialis 20 mg finasterid generika cialis alle erbe cialis 20 mg compra viagra achat en france viagra a basso costo cialis rezeptfrei clomid ricetta viagra receptfritt länder precio viagra receta vendita online viagra cialis internet comprar levitra generico