When encountering potentially aggressive wildlife, the best choice of safety equipment will always be bear or animal spray. But when these two individuals came across a mountain lion, they decided to fire “numerous shots” at the big cat.
The incident occurred in the area of Shoshone Road and Baker Road in Deschutes River Wood, Oregon on July 17. At some point in the morning, two neighbors witnessed the mountain lion take down a deer on their road. Later on Sunday, the two walked near the area where they initially saw the deer kill and noticed the cougar slumped behind the bushes roughly 10 feet away, the report detailed.
According to the subjects, the mountain lion was acting “aggressively,” so they both shot at the animal.
Not surprisingly, fellow neighbors reported hearing gunshots in their area, warranting a visit from Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. Once officers arrived, they tracked the big cat through the southern portion of the neighborhood before losing sight of it. In the meantime, they issued second-degree criminal charges to the subjects responsible for the gunshots.
“While on scene deputies learned that a nearby house was struck by a ricochet bullet from the subjects shooting at the cougar,” the report on Facebook read. “Based on the damage caused to the house, both subjects were issued citations to appear for Criminal Mischief II.”
Unfortunately, during the Sheriff’s Office evaluation of the incident, they felt that the mountain lion’s behavior was problematic. They ultimately called the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to track and put down the animal.
Community Places Blame on Shooters for Mountain Lion’s Death
Even though the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife euthanized the mountain lion, community members that learned of the incident all seemed to point fingers at the individuals that initially shot at the wild animal earlier that day.
In the comments of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook post, hundreds of neighbors shared the same perspective – had the shooters not investigated what was behind the freshly killed deer, the mountain lion would still be alive.
“I’m not alarmed that the people were armed,” one person wrote. “What bothers me is why were they hanging around in close proximity to a fresh kill knowing the couger [sic] was probably close by? By the little information given, it appears that if they’d just left things alone, DCSO wouldn’t have had to kill the couger.”
Another said, “Not buying ‘their’ story at all. Once again humans (are) responsible for killing animals that are uncalled for truly.”
One even wondered how a mountain lion hiding in a bush is considered “aggressive.”
Others pointed out that the local mountain lions helped keep the deer population in check. Removing them from the ecosystem would then likely lead to an influx of the prey species.
“And there goes the Ecosystem!” one outraged neighbor said.