Alert: Cougar spotted at Maury Island Marine Park

Cougar

Plenty of folks who live on Vashon-Maury Island have seen their share of deer and coyotes nearby, and there’s even a bear sighting or two every now and again. But a mountain lion? On Vashon?

There are multiple reports of one or more mountain lions roaming Vashon-Maury Island recently, including a close encounter with a big cat earlier this week at our Maury Island Marine Park.

Human-mountain lion encounters are extremely rare, but it’s important to know how to behave if you find yourself in close proximity to a big cat. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been notified of the sightings and offers these suggestions when encountering a mountain lion:

– Stop, stand tall and don’t run. Pick up small children. Don’t run. A cougar’s instinct is to chase.
– Don’t approach the animal, especially if it is near a kill.
– Try to appear larger than the cougar. Don’t crouch down or try to hide. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back.
– If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
– If the cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation with a cougar, bear or other dangerous wildlife, dial 9-1-1. In a non-emergency situation, contact the nearest regional Department of Fish and Wildlife office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In King County, the number to call is 425-775-1311.

Stay safe out there!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Charlie Leahey says:

    In the early morning hours of 8/28/16 at around 12:30am, we were at the Maury Park overlook. We heard the loud sounds for a few seconds of what sounded like vocal sounds of a sheep or child in the field behind us then silence. My guess is that it was the sound of a deer being killed quickly. Then we started hearing the on and off sounds of what was likely something being dragged through the field. My best guess is that this was the mountain lion making a kill then moving the dead prey.

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