The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said on Twitter that officers responded to Enchantment Park where a cougar was “displaying abnormal behavior.”
A search for the cougar was unsuccessful and officials closed the park, WDFW said, with hopes of continuing the search Sunday with tracking dogs.
However, the cougar attacked the child later Saturday. The child got away with minor injuries and WDFW officers began searching for the animal again. Officers found the cougar around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and euthanized it.
WDFW said wildlife biologists visually examined the cougar Sunday morning and found it didn’t appear unhealthy. Additional testing will be done on the animal, WDFW said.
Enchantment Park was reopened Sunday, according to CNN affiliate KOMO-TV.
Anyone who encounters a cougar should not run, because running and rapid movements may trigger an attack, WDFW advised on its website. Adults should stop and pick up small children immediately.
It’s important to appear more like a threat than like prey, the website states, so it helps to get above the cougar by standing on top of something or, if wearing a jacket, holding it open, WDFW said.
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