December 23, 1996 in Nation/World

Cougar Wanders Through Neighborhood

Compiled From Wire Services
 

A cougar wandering through subdivisions prompted a call to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and local police.

Officers found the cat resting on the front step of a house south of Hailey last week. The cat headed across state Highway 75 after an effort to trap it in the garage failed.

The cat had been reported earlier that same day moving between the highway and foothills, Fish and Game Conservation Officer Roger Olson said.

Olson said the cougar looked scrawny. Armed with a tranquilizer gun, Olson and wildlife biologist Randy Smith of the Jerome Fish and Game office found the lion in some brush in a ditch. They decided to leave the cat alone for the night.

The only sign of the cougar the next morning were its tracks, but it showed up two days later.

It was holed up under some plywood, and Fish and Game officers were able to shoot it with a tranquilizer dart.

They could see that the cat was in poor condition and took it to veterinarian Mark Acker in Bellevue, Olson said.

The 3-year-old male cougar weighed about 85 pounds, but a cat its size should have weighed closer to 125 pounds, Olson said.

Acker gave it a shot of antibiotics and put antiseptic on its wounds. Other than appearing malnourished, it did not appear sick or in danger of dying, Olson said.

Fish and Game officers were planning to keep the cougar for a few days and feed it meat before turning it loose. Nature Conservancy buys

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