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Controversy Follows Springfield Cougar Shooting

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

A local conservation group is criticizing the police shooting of a cougar in Springfield on Tuesday.

After a 911 call police tracked down the cougar before a sniper fired twice on the animal, killing it. In an interview with the Register Guard a police sergeant said that in his 20 years cougar sightings are rare in residential areas.

Brooks Fahy is with Predator Defense, a Eugene-baed wildlife-conservation group. He says that the best tactic would have been to leave the cat alone. He believes shooting the cougar escalates the situation:

"What’s most concerning is that a firearm was discharged from what I’ve gathered from the information that we’ve been able to ascertain, twice. That poses a lot more danger to the people in the area than the cougar did."

The Fish and Wildlife Service’s policy is not to relocate wildlife found in urban areas because of territorial behaviors and unknowns about animals’ place of origin. The cougar sighting was one of three reported in Springfield this month.