Biologists with Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife say two cougars killed over the weekend in a Prineville subdivision suffered from malnutrition.
Police tracked the animals to a residential backyard after responding to a 911 call. The decision to kill the cougars was based on the determination that they posed a risk to public safety.
Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said the animals were both under a year old and weighed significantly less than they should have.
“And at this age, under a year, cougars are still often with their mothers, but they weren’t in this case,” Dennehy said. “So we don’t know what happened to that mother but could have been the reason that they turned out to be malnourished and in poor condition, because at this age they’re not old enough to fend for themselves.”
Dennehy said last year authorities killed 272 cougars across the state for reasons related to livestock damage and public safety concerns.