Dangerous Cougar Attacks Defenseless Dog in West Richland Neighborhood
A neighborhood dog in West Richland was attacked by a cougar recently.
According to a social media post, Amy Phillips saw the cougar attacking her dog on July 17th near her daughter's sandbox on the family's property near Bombing Range Road and Van Giesen Street. The attack happened at about 4 am, as Phillips was awakened by the small dog named Kuma. The owner ran to her dog with a flashlight in hand. The cougar immediately ran away when it saw the light beam. Kuma, a chihuahua mix is recovering from the cougar's vicious bite wounds. She's walking better every day.
Phillips contacted the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. However, an an officer suggested that it was a coyote that attacked Kuma rather than a cougar. So, Phillips set up a camera. On July 29th, the cougar was seen roaming in the same area of the attack at about 10 pm. Phillips is warning others in the area to not let their children or pets out alone.
What you should do if you encounter a cougar (WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) -
Stop, pick up small children immediately, and don’t run. Running and rapid movements may trigger an attack. Remember, at close range, a cougar’s instinct is to chase.
Face the cougar. Talk to it firmly while slowly backing away. Always leave the animal an escape route.
Try to appear larger than the cougar. Get above it (e.g., step up onto a rock or stump). If wearing a jacket, hold it open to further increase your apparent size. If you are in a group, stand shoulder-to-shoulder to appear intimidating.
Do not take your eyes off the cougar or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
Never approach the cougar, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens, and never offer it food.
If the cougar does not flee, be more assertive. If it shows signs of aggression (crouches with ears back, teeth bared, hissing, tail twitching, and hind feet pumping in preparation to jump), shout, wave your arms and throw anything you have available (water bottle, book, backpack). The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
If the cougar attacks, fight back. Be aggressive and try to stay on your feet. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back using anything within reach, including sticks, rocks, shovels, backpacks, and clothing—even bare hands. If you are aggressive enough, a cougar will flee, realizing it has made a mistake. Pepper spray in the cougar’s face is also effective in the extreme unlikelihood of a close encounter with a cougar.