Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Cougar likely killed dead hiker found near Mount Hood

Diana Bober 55 of Gresham Ore Diana Bober 55 of Gresham Ore
Cary Marshall | 13 September, 2018, 02:38

Her death marks the first verified fatal attack by a wild cougar in Oregon.

A missing hiker whose body was found Monday in OR was likely killed by a cougar - the state's first fatal attack by the big cat in the wild, authorities said.

Bober was reported missing by family last month.

Search and rescue teams found the body of Diana Bober, 55, on Monday off a trail in a forest in Oregon, US several kilometres from where her auto was found last week.

Diana Bober's auto was found Saturday at the Zigzag Ranger Station, about 17 miles east of Sandy.

A medical examiner said Tuesday 55-year-old Diana Bober's body had injuries consistent with an attack by a cougar.

OR is home to around 6,600 cougars, Mr Wolfer said, adding that his agency receives over 400 complaints a year of cougars threatening livestock or pets. DNA evidence has been sent to a lab in Ashland for examination, he said.

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Bober's sister, Alison, told The Oregonian that her sister was an avid hiker, an independent woman who felt safe on the trails.

"This is an unprecedented event in OR, we are asking people to avoid this area while we attempt to remove this cougar", said Brian Wolfer, a watershed manager with the ODFW, in a media statement.

Diana Bober apparently tried to fight off the animal that attacked her, her sister said.

He said search teams will not have the means to trap the cougar in rugged terrain and bring it to a secure location to test its DNA before killing it. Schools in the area have also been notified of the attack, Roberts said.

This March 8, 2006, file photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a cougar in the Beulah Wildlife Management Unit in Oregon's Malheur County. "However, we don't know and can't quantify the threat this particular animal may pose to the public and so we're making every effort - along with our partner agencies - to locate this animal so that we can ensure the safety of the public".

Wolfer recommended that people prepare for what to do in the event they encounter a cougar.

"Be aware that cougars are more active at dawn and dusk". If the animal appears aggressive, wildlife officials suggest raising your arms to appear larger while clapping your hands. Stay calm, maintain eye contact, back away slowly, and pick up any children without turning your back on the cougar or bending down.

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