BEND, OR -- Bend Police say officers were forced to kill a cougar found near the top of Pilot Butte, Saturday evening. A concerned citizen called police after spotting the animal off a popular walking trail, at about 6:45 p.m.
Lt. Nick Parker tells KBND when officers responded to the area, there were more than 40 people in the area, and the big cat was found "just off the paved road above the tower area. So, we began evacuations and unfortunately had to make a safety decision by shooting it, killing the cougar."
He says Fish and Wildlife Personnel weren't able to respond to relocate the animal, and the only other option was a tranquilizer dart used by animal control officers on dogs. "The training is not necessarily for a cougar or similar type of animal, but we did consider that. The problem is, that would take upwards of 15 minutes to take effect." And, he says they weren't sure how the cougar would react. Officers are still puzzled as to how the big cat got all the way into the center of town, relatively undetected.