The cougar.ODFW kills cougar suspected in deadly attack on hiker posted on 10/01/2018
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) ended its
operation to capture a cougar that killed Diana Bober, 55, a Gresham woman
hiking on the Hunchback Trail, after all available evidence indicated a cougar
captured and later destroyed on Friday, Sept. 14 was responsible for the
“It is highly probable that the cougar that killed Diana is
the one that we killed last week,” said Derek Broman, ODFW carnivore
coordinator, in a press release dated Friday, Sept. 21.
Bober had not been seen or heard from since Wednesday, Aug.
29 and had been reported as missing to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office on
Friday, Sept. 7. Her body was found off the Hunchback Trail on Monday, Sept.
10, and it was determined that her injuries were consistent with a cougar
“This is a terrible tragedy, and our sympathy goes out to
Diana’s family and friends,” said Brian Wolfer, ODFW watershed manager
Bober’s death was the first verified fatal attack by a wild
cougar in Oregon and initiated a search that included multiple agencies and the
closure of more than 21,000 acres in the Mount Hood National Forest around the
The cougar killed was detected on a trail camera set near
the site where the attack occurred, and during the week following its capture,
no other cougars were detected in the area or on a network of 31 cameras set on
trails, wildlife corridors, saddles and other areas where cougars are likely to
travel in a 35-square mile area around the attack site. The cougar was a
female, but not lactating.
Kendra Payne, Principal at the Welches Schools (located
close to the trail where the attack occurred), said that parents of students
received a note explaining that students and staff would not be able to access
unfenced areas of the school’s campus, including fields and nature trails
during the search for the cougar. The school features six-foot security fencing
surrounding the school’s perimeter and playground area and Payne added that
additional fencing around the school’s upper fields is expected to be added in
the coming months.
After the cougar was killed, it was taken to a lab in
Ashland dedicated to wildlife forensics, but due to contamination at the attack
site, no relevant DNA from the scene was available for comparison.
“We could not get the DNA evidence we had hoped to obtain in
this case,” Broman said. “However, all the evidence available shows we have the
Broman noted it was impossible to determine the motivation
for the attack and that there were no signs the animal was unhealthy, including
that a rabies test was negative. He added that cougar attacks are extremely
rare in the western United States.
“We hope the ending of these operations brings some closure
for Diana’s family,” Broman said. “All of us extend our deepest sympathies to
the Bober family.”
The U.S. Forest Service reopened the area closed during the
cougar capture effort on Monday, Sept. 24.
By Garth Guibord/MT