Warning: Disturbing image in story
CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. -- A deputy shot and killed a cougar in Cascade Locks on Friday night after weeks of sightings.
Emily Elliot had just arrived at her home on John Quincy Avenue and was unloading groceries when her dog started barking.
"Two minutes, I'm in the shed and I see out the side window my dog go in the backyard and just immediately scurry," Elliot said.
Her dog was standing face to face with a female cougar. This was all happening while her infant son was still asleep in the car.
Because the cougar wouldn't go away, Elliot felt the safest choice was to leave her son in the car. So, she called the Hood River County Sheriff's Office and waited 10 long minutes for help.
“I'm just thinking what if he wakes up crying and it draws the cougar in closer and like how soon is someone going to be able to get here?" Elliot said. "My heart was just literally just pounding out of my throat. I was just really thankful he was just safe in there.”
A deputy arrived at around 9:45 p.m. and the cougar remained in close proximity to the home. Due to continuous close proximity and danger to the family, the deputy shot and killed the cougar.
Friday night was far from the first cougar sighting in the area. There were three sighting reported in the area over the past couple weeks, deputies said. Residents told deputies a cougar would pass within 10 feet of their front door. There was also an unconfirmed report that a domestic animal went missing.
When deputies responded to one of the previous sightings, the cougar “demonstrated itself to be highly acclimated to the area, with the deputy going to great lengths to scare the animal off," the sheriff's office said.
Due to the small geographic area of the reports, deputies believe it was likely the same cougar being reported. They also said it’s likely the cougar had grown comfortable with the environment and its fear of humans had decreased.
The killed cougar was turned over to Oregon State Police Fish & Game. The sheriff’s office is continuing to work closely with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife due to numerous other recent sightings.
Earlier this month, a homeowner shot and killed a cougar in the Columbia River Gorge.