The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office believes a hiker died in the Mt. Hood National Forest after being attacked by a cougar. If verified by a DNA test, this attack would mark the first time a wild cougar (also known as a mountain lion) has killed someone in Oregon.
The sheriff's office discovered the body of Diana Bober, 55, near the Hunchback Trail in Welches. She had been missing since August 29.
According to the sheriff's office, state "wildlife managers" have been tasked with tracking and killing the cougar responsible for Bober's death. Cougars can legally be killed by law enforcement officials in Oregon when they become a threat to human safety. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) estimates there are about 6,600 cougars living in Oregon—and they typically travel alone.
This attack comes just a few months after Washington state recorded its first fatal cougar attack in nearly a century. On May 20, a cougar attacked a pair of bicyclists near Snoqualmie, killing one.
“This is an unprecedented event in Oregon, we are asking people to avoid this area while we attempt to remove this cougar,” said Brian Wolfer, a watershed manager with the ODFW, in a media statement. “We don’t know what risk it poses to the public.”