Animals

Cougar shot and killed on Hunchback Trail

Officials believe hiker Diana Bober was killed by a cougar

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A female cougar was shot and killed on the Hunchback Trail near where hiker Diana Bober was fatally attacked.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has been hunting cougars since Thursday in hopes of finding the one that killed Bober.

The cougar killed Friday will be taken to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory, where its DNA will be tested to determine if it killed Bober. It will take at least 3 days to get results.

If this is not the cougar that killed Bober, officials said they will keep hunting and killing cougars until they find the offending animal. 

"We have no way of knowing if this is the right cougar, but our teams did discover with a trail cam photo that cougar was located at the same place where the fatality occurred," ODFW spokesperson Rick Swart said. "So we have a fairly high confidence that may be the right cougar although confirmation won't be made until we have DNA or other match."

Officials with dogs and mules hiked to the area where the cougar was photographed within 3 hours of the sighting and tracked the cougar, then shot it with a rifle.  

Bober, 55, was last heard from August 29. Her body was found Monday and the medical examiner ruled she died from what wounds consistent with an attack by a cougar. 

"We are taking this operation very seriously," Swart said. "It's a human tragedy that affects our whole team and the members of the aggrieved family."
 

The U.S. Forest Service has been working closely with ODFW and has closed nearly 30,000 acres of land, including a large portion of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. Those areas are still closed until they confirm whether the cougar killed is the one they are looking for.

"Our expectation is when we are confident we have taken out the offending cougar, to fold up our camp and leave the area and reopen up the trails," Swart said. 


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