Orphaned cougar left to feed on mother after poaching

WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE POLICE -- On January 19th, Officer Nelson responded to a report of a cougar that was found dead in the Tucannon drainage of Columbia County. Upon arrival at the scene, Officer Nelson located the cougar, a female that had been shot out of season and left to waste. What Officer Nelson didn't expect to find was another cougar at the scene - an orphaned cougar kitten that was left to fend for itself by feeding on the carcass of its dead mother.

Officer Nelson contacted WDFW District Biologist Paul Wik and advised him of the orphaned kitten. Live traps were set overnight, but the young cougar avoided capture. The next day, WDFW Cougar Specialist Rich Beausoleil brought his Karelian Bear Dog, Cash, to the scene and the four-month old kitten was located, captured and transferred to an out-of-state zoo.

If you have any information about this cougar poaching, please contact Officer Jim Nelson at (509) 386-0588.