Oregon deputy kills cougar threatening family after woman is forced to leave sleeping infant inside car
Emily Elliot said she decided to leave the child inside the car as she feared the cougar would end up following or tracking her. 'I have to abandon my baby — there’s a cougar out there. I’m leaving him in the car,' she told authorities
An Oregon sheriff's deputy was forced to shoot and kill a cougar after the large cat threatened a family and prevented a mother from safely taking her 10-month-old son out of their vehicle and into their house.
Emily Elliot had to leave her 10-month-old infant son inside the car while she was unloading groceries at her Cascade Locks home, she shared with Fox12 Oregon. Once she had gone back outside, she spotted the cougar approaching the car growling. Elliot said she decided to leave the child inside the car as she feared the cougar would end up following or tracking her. "I have to abandon my baby — there’s a cougar out there. I’m leaving him in the car," she told authorities.
"You just have all the feelings going through you. Like, I’m a horrible mom," she added recalling the experience. Elliot resorted to calling authorities but the arrival of the officer was not enough to scare off the animal. Hood River County Sheriff's Office stated in a news release that a cougar was seen roaming around the neighborhood last weekend. The animal was shot and killed at around 9.45 pm on Friday, June 21, after its close proximity and refusal to leave an ongoing threat to the family, the release added.
Other residents also reported seeing a cougar "pass within 10 feet of their front door" along with an unconfirmed report that a pet was missing. The deputy responding to one of the scenes went to great lengths to scare the animal away. According to the sheriff's office, the cougar that was killed was most probably the same one from the earlier reports. The release stated that it had become "increasingly comfortable" with the area and did not fear humans.
After it was killed, the cougar's body was handed to the Oregon State Police Fish & Game. It was just last week that Oregon officials had to forcefully put down a black bear which had become too habituated to humans and was likely to have dangerous interactions with people in the future.