Department of Fish and Wildlife investigating reports of cougar sightings in Bonney Lake
By BRIAN BECKLEY
Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald Reporter
May 26, 2011 · Updated 1:52 PM
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have been investigating a series of reports of cougar sightings in the Bonney Lake area, though so far there is no confirmation of any of the animals.
According to Spokesman Craig Bartlett, the department has received several reports over the past few weeks of cougars in the Sky Island neighborhood, though Bartlett said investigators have so far seen no sign of the animal, including droppings or markings.
Bartlett also said this is the season that animals such as cougars and bears are generally out in search of food and do live in the area.
"Anytime you're living in a rural area ... or near a greenbelt, animals can be an issue," he said. "It's a fact of life in Washington state."
Bartlett also said about 50 percent of all reports of dangerous animals turn out to be something else, like a large dog.
Bartlett encouraged anyone who thinks they see a dangerous animal to call the Department of Fish and Wildlife's dangerous animal tip line at 1-877-933-9847 so investigators can get to the scene.
"The sooner we can get out there, the more likely it is we can see it and be on its trail," he said.
Residents who think they see a cougar should stay away from the animal and keep their pets and children inside. Bartlett also recommended not storing pet food outside as that is a key way to attract a wild animal.
"It's absolutely never a good idea to leave pet food out," he said.
For more information on dealing with cougars and other wildlife, visit www.wdfw.wa.gov/livingContact Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald Reporter Brian Beckley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058.