Cougar spotted in Kent area; residents worry about pet safety

·2 min read

Video shared in the Nextdoor App catches a cougar trying to climb a fence in the Kent area. According to wildlife experts, bear sightings aren’t uncommon in the Kent area, but cougars are a whole other story.

“Whether it’s from a coyote, bear or cougar, I never say never,” Jennifer Maurstad with the Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

After KIRO7 showed people in the area the video, they worry about their safety, plus their pets.

“A cougar in this area?! Where did it even come from?” Pet owner Mark Shapiro said.

“I’d be scared. Because Cooper has never met anything that wasn’t his best friend yet. And I don’t think he could discern a cougar from a great Dane,” Kent resident Andrew Sobiesiak said.

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Maurstad says it’s rare for an animal like a cougar to attack people, but it has happened before.

She says if someone is out walking their pet and they run into wildlife like a cougar, pick up the dog if possible and keep your distance.

Maurstad says trying to run is the last thing you want to do.

“You don’t want to turn and run. You just want to keep an eye on that cat and slowly back away. I know that urge is strong to turn and run, but that’s that last thing you want to do,” Maurstad said.

“Make yourself look big, raise your hands in the air. And just understand that we do have wildlife in our region and along our trails that provide great cover for animals,” Maurstad said.

Because both Maurstad and the public want all people and animals to be safe.

“Let the professionals handle it. It’s not worth your safety or that of your animal or loved ones,” Sobiesiak said.

For more information on what to do when encountering wildlife, click here.