Crews kill cougar likely responsible for Gresham resident's death
An adult female cougar, which may have been responsible for the death of a Gresham resident, was killed on Friday, Sept. 14, by crews from the United States Department of Agriculture.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office found the body of Diana Bober, 55, about 100 yards from the Hunchback Trail on Monday, Sept. 10. She had been missing since Aug. 29.
The Oregon Medical Examiner's Office determined Bober died from injuries consistent with a cougar attack.
The cougar's body was transported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, where the lab will analyze evidence from the animal, and compare it with DNA from the scene where Bober was killed to determine if it is the cougar that attacked Bober, according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"We don't know if this is the cougar responsible, but we do know that this cougar was at the attack site today," said Brian Wolfer, the ODFW official who is leading the cougar hunt. "We are doing all we can to confirm as quickly as possible whether this is the animal responsible."
After crews found no sign of a cougar in the area of the Hunchback Mountain Trail where Bober on Thursday, Sept. 14, USDA Wildlife Services personnel started a search west of the Hunchback Mountain trail on Sept. 15. At approximately 9:20 a.m., a cougar walked in front of a remote camera that crews had set up a few feet from where Bober's backpack was found on the trail.
USDA Wildlife Services personnel, along with dogs and mules, hiked to the area where the camera spotted the cougar about three hours after the cougar's visit. Hounds picked up the scent and trail of the cougar, which was found in a tree around 3 p.m. today. The cougar was then shot with a rifle.
Results of the DNA test are expected to take at least three days.
Until ODFW receives confirmation that the cougar that was killed is indeed the one that attacked Bober, staff from ODFW and other involved agencies will remain in the Zigzag area and continue to search for cougars. If another cougar is encountered, it may be killed and also tested for evidence.
The continued effort is intended to increase the probability that the offending cougar has been killed.
During a press press confernece at the Hunchback Trail on Sept. 15. Wolfer responded criticism on social media that ODFW should not kill a cougar before it was determined that it was the correct animal.
"We believe this cougar posed a safety risk," "This is not normal for a cougar to attack a person."
Bober's family is grieving, and he has been in contact with the family during the search, and they have been supportive of ODFW's operation.
"We have a responsibilty to make sure no other family is going to go through that," Wolfer said. "What I told (Bober's family), and what I would tell the people of Oregon is that no other family is going to go through what they're going through. I sincerely hope the actions we've taken so far, and the actions we may have to take in the future do not cuase them any heartache and pain because the've been through enough."