KENNEWICK. Wash.—Neighbors find a cougar staring back at them Wednesday morning.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife say starting at 1am Wednesday three cougar sightings in Kennewick were reported. The cougar finally planted itself in a tree in a neighbor's backyard on the 3000 block of 3rd Place around 9am.
"I got on the phone and they told me there was a cougar in my tree in my backyard," says Casey Leach, cougar was in backyard.
A neighbor, James Ford, had heard Leach's dogs barking and decided to check her backyard. That's when he saw the cougar and called 911.
"You're going to be a little nervous when you see a big old kitty," says James Ford, reported cougar.
Fish and Wildlife and Law Enforcement got to the scene within minutes. After speaking with supervisors, Fish and Wildlife decided to shoot the cougar with a single bullet.
"During that time frame you still have a wild animal that is unpredictable that we can't control, and in this particular incident, the location where it was, there was no escape route for it to go," says Sergeant Mike Jewell, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"They told me they were going to have to shoot it, which is sad, but they explained the reasons why, for the safety of my kids and my dogs," says Leach.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says they did not tranquilize the cougar, because there were too many risks. They say a tranquilizer can take up to 15 minutes to take effect. Also, if the tranquilizer does not work, it could cause the animal to run.
This is the second cougar found in a Tri-Cities neighborhood within the past year.