Monday, March 12, 2012

Catch a Cougar By its tail.

I was working on a quiet Sunday when I was flagged down by a citizen of the town I work in. He told me that a cougar had been treed by a house just up the road. When I arrived there were a few people around and they pointed the cat out to me. Sure enough there was a cougar laying in the tree. This house had sheep as live stock and some other houses nearby had young children so we knew the cougar had to be dealt with.

I called the Washington State Department of Fish and Game and they said they were on their way. from a town about 60 miles away. Another officer from another neighboring town showed up as well. We sat there and talked and made sure the cougar stayed in the tree. I told him " You just stay up there and we won't have an issue." Finally the WDFW arrived on scene along with a large mammal biologist who specializes in cougars.

They got out their dart gun and a net to catch the cat if it fell out of the tree.

By this time besides me there were two county officers, two WDFW officers and one other city officer there watching everything.

They shot the cougar with the dart and waited till it went to sleep. It got stuck in the tree so the Biologist climbed a ladder and tied a rope to the cougar and got it out of the tree and lowered the cat safely to the ground.

We got the cougar into the net and carried it over to the vehicles. The WDFW and biologists started taking data from the cougar such as teeth size, body length and put a radio collar on it.

This is when things started to get exciting. The cougars started to move his head a bit, then its legs. The wildlife agent gave it another dose of sedative to keep it calmed down. That seemed to perk the cat up even more and it got up and started walking away. The biologist said grabs its' tail..........So I did. Even with sedative this cat was pulling me over a snow bank. All I could think about was "This is a bad idea".... "Even if his ear looks like it is going to turn around at all I am letting go."

That is me in the black.

After what seemed to be forever which in reality was about 20 seconds and he gave up and laid down and went back to sleep.

It was an amazing experience; WDFW did a great job and getting it out of the tree and taking it away so it could range away from humans. They also took this deer kill with them so the cougar could have something to eat on when it woke up.

I have recieved a lot of comments like your crazy and thats amazing. But my favorite question so far was "How come the biologist didnt grabs its tail?" My response was "Because he's smarter than that."

Disclaimer: For everyone who thinks this is being mean to the cat, If I had not caught the cougar by the tail and stopped it from getting away it could of 1. drowned in the near by river or 2. got itself into a situation where it would of had to be put down. But since I did stop it from getting away it was able to be relocated to a safe spot to have a quality recovery.