A cougar believed to have fatally killed 55-year-old hiker Diana Bober in Oregon last month has been shot and killed, state wildlife officials said Saturday.
A cougar believed to have been responsible for the fatal killing of a hiker in Oregon was shot dead, according to state wildlife officials.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife launched an animal search after Diana Bober, 55, was found dead on Hunchback Trail in Welches on Sept. 10, almost two weeks after she was reported missing.
On Saturday, authorities announced that they had shot and killed a cougar that could have been Bober's attacker.
"We still have no confirmation that this is certainly that animal, but we believe it is a great possibility," ODFW watershed manager Brian Wolfer told King5.
The cougar's body has been transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Ashland to perform DNA tests to confirm its identity.
Authorities announced on Saturday that they had shot and killed a cougar that could have been Bober's attacker. His body has been sent to a laboratory for DNA tests to confirm his identity (stock image)
A coroner confirmed that Bober's injuries indicated that she had been attacked by a cougar, which would make it the first known attack of the wild animal in Oregon's history.
Wildlife officials have spent the last week searching for the puma involved in the attack, planning to shoot and kill it so it can be analyzed for DNA.
On Friday morning, a cougar walked in front of a remote camera not far from where the body of the avid hiker was found in the Mount Hood National Forest.
A search group was sent to the area where the dogs picked up the smell of the puma and tracked it until it climbed a tree, where it was shot and killed around 3:15.
It is expected to take at least three days for the DNA results to return.
Authorities are still working to confirm if there are other cougars in the area that could have been responsible for the attack.
It is believed that the fatal attack was the first of a wild puma in Oregon history. Wildlife officials have spent the last week searching the area for the puma involved in the attack
Cougar sightings are relatively common in Oregon, particularly in more rural areas, but Bober's death seems to be the first fatal attack.
"This is an unprecedented event in Oregon," Wolfer said earlier this week. "We do not know what risk it represents for the public."
There are approximately 6,600 pumas, also commonly called mountain lions or pumas, throughout Oregon. State wildlife officials receive about 400 complaints about animals every year, according to authorities.
Landowners or law enforcement officers can kill cougars when they pose a threat to human security or cause damage to livestock or agricultural crops. They can also be hunted.
During the last decade, around 20 pumas have been killed every year in the area of wildlife management where Bober's body was found.
In May, a mountain biker in Washington state was killed by a cougar on a road east of Seattle, the first fatal attack in that state in 94 years.