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Cougar Likely Killed Missing Oregon Woman.

An Oregon woman who had been reported missing for nearly two weeks was most likely killed by a cougar, officials said Tuesday. This is the first time in Oregon history that a human was attacked by one of the animals.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said Diana Bober's body was found Monday off a trail in the Mt. Hood National Forest in Welches, about 40 miles southeast of Portland.

The medical examiner's office determined the wounds found on Bober's body were "consistent with a suspected cougar attack." It also ruled out the possibility that the 55-year-old was mauled after she died from a separate cause.

"This is a terrible tragedy, and our sympathy goes out to Diana's family and friends," Brian Wolfer, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife's (ODFW) watershed manager, said in a press conference Tuesday. "All of us at ODFW are thinking of you today."

"Because this is an unprecedented event in Oregon we don't believe that the threat to the public that's posed by cougars is any greater today than it was yesterday," Wolfer explained Monday. "However, we don't know and can't quantify the threat that this particular animal may pose to the public."

Officials said DNA samples will be flown by the Oregon State Police to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laboratory for further analysis.

Following the incident, officials closed down the Hunchback Trail to search for the cougar. Schools in the area were also placed on alert, reports said. 

The sheriff's office said Oregon has roughly 6,000 cougars - also commonly called mountain lions or pumas - throughout the state.

Wolfer issued some guidelines to follow to avoid cougars. 

"We recommend people avoid some areas likely have cougars at dawn (and) dusk, hike in pairs. If you have a dog keep it on a leash," he said. "And if you have kids keep them close and keep an eye on kids in areas that have a chance to have a cougar."

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U9OR
Date:Sep 12, 2018
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