Clackamas County

Possible cougar attack victim 'lived life' to the fullest

Alison Bober said her sister, Diana, lived fearlessly

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- The way Alison Bober looks at it, life is meant to be lived, not feared -- something her sister, Diana, embodied from the beginning until her recent end.

On Monday, rescue crews found the body of Diana, an avid hiker, off the Hunchback Trail near Mt Hood. On Tuesday, authorities announced the results of the autopsy, which revealed Diana was killed in an animal attack. They believe a cougar was responsible, which would mark the first fatal cougar attack in the wild in the state's history. 

"This does have every indication that this is the first fatal attack of a human by a cougar in Oregon," said Brian Wolfer, ODFW watershed manager. "Every indication we have so far is that case."

Diana was last heard from on Aug. 29 after her final text message with her mother. She was reported missing days later when her family realized something was wrong. 

In that time, Alison and the rest of the Bober family remained hopeful because they said that's all they could do. Though it's not the ending they hoped for, Alison said the family can take peace in knowing that Diana was doing something she loved. And, according to what investigators told them, she went out fighting. 

"She fought a cougar and she fought pretty hard. They don't think the cougar came back, which is usually what they do. The implication being her fighting back hurt the cougar," Alison said. "Through her entire life, from beginning to end, she lived it."

Living life is something Diana learned from her father, a man Alison said fought in World War II, smoke jumped into fires in Montana and traveled the world for the CIA. He never settled, she said.

So, when it came time for Diana to go into the real world, she did the same: She wanted to be on stage, so she moved to New York City; after that, she wanted to break into the film business, so she packed her things and headed to Hollywood; then she wanted to become a professional poker player, so she headed to Las Vegas.

And when all that was done, and she wanted to a different quality of life, she moved to the Portland-Metro area and embraced the outdoors.

Alison said there are two approaches a grieving family could take to a life tragically gone before its time. She could've asked "Why did this happen?" But instead, she's taking another approach. 

"This is so rare, how could you possibly prepare for this? Except to say I'll simply take no risks in my life and never go hiking in this beautiful wilderness," Alison said. "My sister could not live like that. You can't live fearing every possible risk in life."

And that's a lesson she hopes people can take from the life of her sister.


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