WALLA WALLA — Five days after a cougar sighting at Fort Walla Walla Park, officials will reopen the Arthur G. Rempel Nature Trail.
Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Madonna Luers said department biologists were confident the cougar was a one-time visitor and noted the sighting was never officially confirmed.
“People think they see something and then when it is explored a lot of them remain unconfirmed,” Luers said.
On Friday, a hiker on the trail spotted a cougar and notified authorities, who closed off the trail and posted a sign. But it took three days until the correct Fish and Wildlife personnel were notified, Luers said.
On Monday, a Fish and Wildlife investigator determined, through phone conversations, the incident did not merit further action because the one sighting was not of an aggressive nature and no other sightings had occurred, Luers said.
“Maybe there was one and it probably moved on, but it is a good reminder for people in the area … any area that has lots of deer, there is the possibility of a cougar,” Luers added.
Fish and Wildlife provides of number of tips on living with wildlife, including safe hiking tips for areas with cougars.
Those tips can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/living.