CBS Local — An Oregon motel had to call local wildlife officials after a cougar decided to “check in” to one of their rooms.
According to KVAL, the cougar wandered into the Oregon Motor Motel on March 20 after being seen walking around the inn two days earlier. “A cougar coming this far into downtown, into the business district and deep into a hotel complex, and not showing fear of people or wariness of urban environments? That’s just extremely odd,” Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Jeremy Thompson said.
ODFW officials say that the cougar was found in the walkway of a room currently under construction. While cougar sightings are fairly common in the outskirts of The Dalles, police decided to capture and euthanize the animal because of its willingness to enter the busy downtown area.
“This may have been a cougar that was unable to establish its own home range in its natural habitat,” Thompson added. “Considering this cougar’s concerning behavior, it was deemed a public safety risk not suitable for relocation.”
Oregon has a thriving cougar population which has led to six being euthanized over safety concerns this year. According to the ODFW website, the state’s cougar population has gone from around 200 in the 1960’s to over 6,400 in 2017.