TWISP, Wash. — An 11-year-old girl shot a cougar that was following her 14-year-old brother to their home in north central Washington, the state Fish and Wildlife Department said.
The female cougar killed last week was about 4 years old and weighed about 50 pounds — half of what it should weigh, said Officer Cal Treser.
"This cougar was very, very skinny," he said.
It was the third cougar killed in a week in the area just outside Twisp, The Wenatchee World reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/1c8JV4x ).
The children's father, Tom White, had chased the cougar away from their calves twice on Feb. 19. The next day his son went out to feed the dogs and was returning to a basement door when he spotted the cougar following him, Treser said.
"His dad was in there and said, 'Close the door!' and there was the cougar, right behind him," Treser said.
His 11-year-old daughter had a tag to hunt cougars and shot the animal, he said.
So far this winter, Fish and Wildlife agents have tracked and killed five cougars for attacking domestic animals in the Twisp-Winthrop area. Five others in the Methow Valley have been killed by hunters.
The department issued five special permits allowing hunters to use dogs to track and kill cougars in response to an unusual number of cougar problems this winter. There may be more cougars than usual or they may be having trouble finding deer, their usual prey, agents said.