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Police kill cougar on East M Avenue
A young cougar was killed by team of law enforcement officials this morning in a La Grande housing development.
The cougar, an 83-pound male, was shot by a team of La Grande Police and Union County Sheriff’s department officers at about 8:30 a.m. The cougar was under a travel trailer on East M Avenue in the Eagle Cap Estates area, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Jim Cadwell.
The cougar was killed about a half hour after it was first reported being seen on East L Avenue.
“The actions of the law enforcement team were very quick and efficient,’’ Cadwell said.
Cadwell, who examined the cougar after it was shot, estimates that it was less than two years old. He described it as relatively skinny and said it appeared not to have eaten recently.
The La Grande Police Department is reporting no missing pets in the area the cougar was found in, Cadwell said. This may mean that the cougar had not been in the vicinity for long since cougars sometimes feed on pets.
“It appears to have been removed quickly after entering the area,’’ Cadwell said.
The biologist said the cougar may have been searching for a territory he could establish himself in. Cadwell explained that young males have a tough time competing against dominant older male cougars who already have established territories. This forces them to disperse.
“When this happens they may move into areas where they have conflicts with people,’’ Cadwell said.