BEND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon police officer shot and killed a cougar after it was spotted just above a popular hiking trail.
KTVZ-TV reports that the animal was seen Saturday evening near the summit of Pilot Butte, a 500-foot-tall, extinct cinder cone volcano, in Bend. It was a large male, just 15 yards from a paved road and hiking trail used by hundreds of people daily.
Police Lt. Nick Parker says officers evacuated visitors over safety concerns. The department considered tranquilizing the cougar, but darts can take up to 15 minutes to work.
It was the second cougar killed in Bend in just over two months. On Jan. 30, state Fish and Wildlife agents killed a cougar in a tree above a home. They said it would have been too risky to try to relocate the animal.