By Frank Lockwood
HERMISTON Investigators responded to a June 28 unconfirmed cougar siting on Diagonal Road. The ODFW says the incident may have involved dogs or cougars, but the homeowner, who disagrees, wants cougars to be kept away.
This is the second cougar attack in her yard in four years, says home owner Ramona Verdegan. Four years ago, she had to put down a $5,000 horse after it received self-inflicted injuries while fleeing a cougar.
This time the injured horse belonged to Anna Reuter, Verdegans niece. Reuter says her jumping horse may never jump now, with a damaged leg and a gash of about 10 inches on the front shoulder.
But, are mountain lions getting a bad rap? The Oregon fish and wildlife biologist Mark Kirsch said last week that the cuts were not consistent with a mountain lion attack.
Department of Agriculture agent Ken Mitchell agreed that cat attacks leave unique wounds. The cuts are deep and leave a pattern, as if cut by a bank of razors. (For the full story see the July 10, 2001 issue of the Hermiston Herald.)