CANBY, Ore. (KOIN) — A dozen animals have reportedly been killed by what Canby residents are calling a cougar on the prowl.
Now, families in the area say they’re concerned for the safety of their children and pets.
Stephanie Carlson told KOIN 6 News just one day after she found her alpacas dead, a cougar came back and killed one of her sheep.
That’s when she said her family decided to call the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help.
“They are my babies, we are not breeders,” Carlson said. “We are not huge into the alpaca world so they were just our pets.”
Carlson said a trapper set up snares to catch the cougar. But after 3 long nights, they were unsuccessful.
“It just kills for the fun of it, that’s the scary part,” she said. “A cougar usually kills something, buries it, drags it… comes back and eats it. This cougar or cougars are just killing for the fun of it.”
While Carlson says the USDA has been proactive, if snares don’t work trappers will have to use bloodhounds to catch the killer cougars.
“We purchased [our] Great Pyrenees a few days after the attacks from the cougar,” Carlson said. “They actually protect the livestock.”
Just a few miles from Carlson’s home, the Marr family says they recently lost 3 sheep from their flock. Another half mile away, the Stonehouses reportedly lost 2 llamas and a pygmy goat.
“This cougar is not like a normal cougar so it’s very scary for my kids,” Carlson said. “They can’t go play outside anymore and that’s exactly why we bought this property.”
More than 5,000 cougars reside in Oregon, and while encounters are rare, they are known to happen.
Cougars are most active at dawn and dusk, so residents are urged to walk their pets during the day and make sure they don’t leave food and garbage outside.
If you find an animal that you think was attacked call the USDA Wildlife Services at 503.326.2346.
For more information on living in cougar country, click here.