PREDATORS – A dog that survived a March 2013 attack by a wolf on the porch of its home near Twisp, Wash., was attacked again this week – by a cougar.
Shelby, a 60-pound female husky-wolf mix, was brought to Olympia last spring so Washington legislators could see the still-healing scars from the wolf attack. Her owner, John Stevie, was making the case that landowners should be able to legally defend their pets if they are attacked by wolves.
On Monday morning – less than a year after the wolf attack, Shelby was mauled by a cougar after Stevie let her outside.
“The dog was ripped up pretty bad,” said state Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen. “She’s expected to make a recovery, but she’ll require a lot of stitches,” he said.
The attack and other sightings over the weekend prompted the agency to issue a depredation permit, and call in a designated hound handler to try to track the cougar.
So far this winter, cougars in the Methow Valley have killed goats, sheep, chickens and a calf. Shelby was the second dog to be attacked. Then last week, an 11-year-old girl shot a cougar 10 feet from their Twisp residence as it followed her brother to the door.
Christensen said there have been far more cougar complaints in Okanogan County this winter than in previous winters – nearly all of them in the Methow Valley.
Neighbors discuss South Hill Bluff
TRAILS – A public meeting to discuss potential real estate development that could impact the popular trail system in High Drive Bluff Park is set for Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 5720 S. Perry.
The Friends of the Bluff group is looking for a conservation solution to possible changes to the 22-acre Tuscan Ridge property, which is zoned for condo development.
Montana eyes ‘bucket biologists’
FISHING – Montana officials are considering a plan to deal with the illegal stocking of fish into public waters.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is creating guidelines, such as investigating a case within 30 days of discovering illegally planted fish and deciding quickly how to suppress them.
Recent illegal stockings include northern pike in the Upper Missouri River near Toston and walleye in Noxon Rapids Reservoir in northwestern Montana.
Idaho researchers collar 45 elk
WILDLIFE – Shooting nets or tranquilizer darts from a helicopter, Idaho researchers captured 23 cow elk in the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River drainage last weekend and fitted them with radio collars.
Those collars and the 22 fixed to cow elk in mid-January are working and the study is progressing, said Barb Moore of the Idaho Fish and Game Department.