A mom spotted a mountain lion on her back fence Tuesday afternoon stalking her children as they cooled off playing in a swimming pool, according to Oregon police.
Neighbor Jerry Couturier told KMTR he called 911 after hearing his neighbor scream around 1 p.m. in Springfield, Oregon.
“First I was shocked, I mean I was like, ‘What? A cougar?’ “ Couturier told the station. “And then, you know, my heart started beating. I’m like, there’s a cougar in the yard!”
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Police brought in a tracker with Cascade Adventures, whose dog found the mountain lion in a nearby tree, officers wrote on Facebook.
After consulting with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, police decided the safest option was to kill the mountain lion, reported KEZI.
“There’s a good chance it doesn’t have as much fear as a normal cat would have around humans,” animal control officer Brian Austin told The Eugene Register-Guard.
Experts also worried the cougar had been attracted to the back yard by the sound of playing children, police wrote on Facebook.
A police sniper shot the mountain lion, which fell from the tree and then climbed another tree, where it was shot a second time and killed, reported KMTR.
A necropsy, or animal autopsy, will be performed on the mountain lion, a 2-year-old, 70-pound female, KEZI reported.
An Oregon fish and wildlife biologist told the station that relocation isn’t normally a good option for mountain lions.
“You’re going to cause conflicts amongst the (cougars),” said Christopher Yee, according to the station. “It’s going to affect more than one animal and you could end up resulting in that animal’s mortality. So they are not a good animal to relocate.”
Police had received several reports of mountain lion sightings in the neighborhood over the past several days, including one by newspaper carrier Brian Solomon, who saw the animal at 4 a.m Sunday, reported The Register-Guard.
“At first I thought it was a Great Dane or something,” Solomon said, according to the publication. “Then I saw it was something else. Like something from out of a zoo.”
Police suspect the earlier sightings involved the same animal but can’t rule out the possibility of more than one mountain lion in the area, reported KMTR.