A female cougar that recently surprised a Burgar Street homeowner in his woodshed has left the neighborhood and moved to more open country east of the Methow River.
A couple of days after the cougar was discovered in the woodshed, state wildlife officials located a deer kill nearby and removed it. The cougar has since left the area, said Jason Day, an enforcement officer with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The cougar’s movements can be tracked because she wears a GPS radio collar that was placed on her about three years ago by researchers in a University of Washington project studying cougars and wolves. A researcher said the cougar is estimated to be at least 12 years old, which is old for cougars in the wild. The cougar spends her summers in the Pasayten Wilderness and winters in the valley in a drainage east of the Methow River.
Day responded after Barry Stromberger called to report encountering a cougar in his woodshed on Nov. 29. After Day arrived, the cougar ran out of the woodshed and around the neighborhood with Day in pursuit, until he lost its tracks. Based on signals from her collar, she remained in the area for another day or so, until the deer kill was removed.
Although he was alarmed when he unexpectedly found himself within arms-length of the big cat, Stromberger said it was a memorable experience. “I’ve lived here 47 years and never seen a live cougar,” he said.