CASHMERE — Residents in the Wenatchee Valley are reporting more cougar sightings this spring, and also starting to see bears in the Leavenworth area looking for food, said state Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Doug Ward.
Ward said his officers are getting about five calls per week from people who’ve seen a cougar — some of them close to communities — including one Wednesday of a cougar sitting on a rock on the hillside near Rusty’s Drive-In in Cashmere.
“It was not a major issue,” he said. “But typically we’re done with cougars by May. This year, we’re still getting sightings. They’re not going back out with the deer.”
Bears have also emerged from dens and are looking for an easy meal. “Right now, all they want to do is eat,” Ward said. Residents are asked to keep pet food inside, keep garbage cans secured until collection day, and put away all bird feeders. Those who don’t are encouraging a new generation of problem bears. “Once a sow teaches her cub that behavior, it’s almost impossible to change that,” he said. “Be a friend to wildlife. Don’t feed the bears.”
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512