Cougar euthanized after several sightings in Silverton

SILVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife officials were forced to trap and euthanize a cougar in response to several sightings of the animals in and around the town of Silverton.

The Statesman Journal reports Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy says the cougar was euthanized because it was considered a “public safety risk.”

Dennehy says cougars in the area have killed livestock, pets or have been seen repeatedly in the middle of the day, which she says is rare because they are normally afraid of people.

Dennehy says cougars are becoming a more common sight in towns such as Silverton, which are close to a forested area and food, such as deer.

Oregon’s cougar population has rebounded from a low of around 200 animals in the late 1960s to more than 6,000 today.