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Rossland boy suffers cougar attack

A five-year-old Rossland boy has been hospitalized, treated and released after a cougar attack in Stevens Country, Wa., yesterday

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), issued a press release saying the child was attacked and injured while hiking with his family on the Abercrombie Mountain Trail, along Silver Creek in the Colville National Forest east of Northport.

“His parents, of Rossland, British Columbia, reported a cougar suddenly jumped out of a brushy area onto the boy, who was near his mother on the trail,” said the release. “The mother reportedly fought off the cougar and the parents took the child to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail.”

The family has asked to remain unnamed.

The press release went on to say that the child suffered head wounds, but is expected to fully recover.

It also indicated that wildlife officers must now hunt, and euthanize, the cougar.
“After WDFW was notified of the incident by the boy’s father this morning, WDFW officers contacted local hunters with hounds trained to tree cougars, to assist in searching for the cougar. If the animal is found, it will be killed.”

“When human life is threatened in this way, we take no chances,” said WDFW regional enforcement Capt. Mike Whorton. “Cougars that have attacked people clearly pose a continuing public-safety risk and are euthanized if they are captured.”

The WDFW also promised there would soon be signs on the trailhead, “advising users that cougars and other potentially dangerous animals are in the area, and offering advice on how avoid or deal with an encounter.

“The last cougar attack in Washington was last year in Douglas County. Since records have been kept, there have been 18 reported cougar attacks in the state, including one fatality in 1924 in Okanogan County.

WDFW estimates the state’s cougar population at about 1,900-2,100 animals.