Cougar reported near Fort Walla Walla

A sign warns visitors that the nature trail has been closed due to a cougar sighting.

A sign warns visitors that the nature trail has been closed due to a cougar sighting. Photo by Alfred Diaz.

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WALLA WALLA — City officials closed off a popular Fort Walla Walla Park trail after a cougar sighting there Friday.

“We basically want people to be careful if they are going out to Fort Walla Walla Park. Or if they are going out to the nature area they may want to change their plans,” Parks and Recreation Director Jim Dumont said.

On Friday, city officials received a call from a park user who saw a cougar along the Arthur G. Rempel Nature Trail.

Dumont said the caller sounded credible, so Fish and Game was notified and a sign and tape were put up at the trailhead, which is located north of Fort Walla Walla Museum.

“It is a big area that the cougar could be in, from that point. We haven’t heard anything from Fish and Wildlife on how they would want to deal with that so at this point we are just on hold,” Dumont said.

Comments

CharlieSchorner 1 year, 7 months ago

When I read of these sightings I always wonder how the animal could have gotten there. If true, he must have come from the south or east, but would still have to navigate a few neighborhoods and cross a highway. What might have drawn the animal to this particular location especially given all of the open country and farm land in the vicinity? Definitely a mystery to me! I hope to hear about further investigations.

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gayleshoun 1 year, 7 months ago

They follow the creeks. Walla Walla has many.

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pdywgn 1 year, 7 months ago

The deer herd at the Blue Mountain Mall belongs to that area. For some reason they tend to go out the VA's poplar Street gate in the middle of the night and down Avery to Mill Creek. If they can't get back in time to avoid early morning traffic on Poplar they bed down at the old Blue Mountain Mall. Mountain lions follow deer herds, so the cat probably traveled down Mill Creek and caught the scent of the Fort Walla Walla herd. Sometimes you can see the herd just east of the wooded area on Poplar Street in the field around dusk. The cat last year was seen at Mill Creek and switched to Jefferson Park. I'm pretty sure it was on the scent of venison on the hoof. The cat could have also crossed the highway in the middle of the night. Mountain lions don't have a fear of man and are capable of killing a full grown deer, carrying it up a tree and eating it. They only see you as prey and if they haven't had a past bad experience with man they have no problem with passing through a neighborhood and picking up a snack on the way. Pet dog, cat or worse.

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CharlieSchorner 1 year, 6 months ago

Very interesting! We had similar wildlife migrations in downtown San Diego, but the canyons there are deep, rugged and well connected, which is also too convenient for other forms of traffic!

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