Mountain lion wanders into Oregon motel

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  March 21, 2018 at 12:34 PM
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March 21 (UPI) -- A mountain lion was removed after wandering into a room at an Oregon motel and was later euthanized, wildlife officials said.

The owner of the Oregon Motor Motel in The Dalles said he looked into the room on Tuesday and fled after seeing the animal's eyes and teeth shining in the pitch black room.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the cougar was in a room that was under construction at the end of a narrow hallway at the motel.

"[The owner] walked out and called the city police department. They had an officer shine a light on it, and the lion stepped out from behind a water heater in that room and screamed at him," Jeremy Thompson, an ODFW wildlife biologist, told KPTV.

Wildlife officials used a tranquilizer dart to sedate the cougar and transported it to an off-site location, where it was eventually euthanized after being declared a danger to the public.

Thompson said it is not uncommon to see mountain lions on the outskirts of The Dalles.

"But a cougar coming this far into downtown, into the business district and deep into a hotel complex, and not showing fear of people or wariness of urban environments? That's just extremely odd," Thompson said in a statement. "This may have been a cougar that was unable to establish its own home range in its natural habitat."

"Considering this cougar's concerning behavior, it was deemed a public safety risk not suitable for relocation, and so it was euthanized," Thompson said.

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