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Cougar shot and killed by police in Ashland

ASHLAND, Ore. – A cougar was shot and killed by police in Ashland city limits.

The Ashland Police Departments said someone exited an Ashland home Friday morning and saw a cougar rummaging through garbage cans. The animal didn’t run away, which is unusual. Cougars normally run away from humans, APD explained.

When police arrived at the home, the cougar was under an elevated porch. The animal was unfazed by the officer’s presence and didn’t respond to sirens.

Because of the cougar’s behavior, police called the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for advice. After that, the decision was made to kill the cougar due to concerns for human safety.

“The decision to put an animal down is never easy,” said Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara. “The City of Ashland appreciates its long-standing partnership with ODFW and the support ODFW brings as difficult decisions such as this are made.”

Local ODFW biologist Steve Niemela reportedly supported the decision. “Cougars normally display fear of humans and are nocturnal animals,” he explained. “With the cougar just feet away from the resident’s friend during daylight and showing no signs of fear and not responding to hazing efforts, human safety was an issue and this was the right decision.”

Ashland police said the cougar was a 60-pound male.


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