If you live near greenbelts in Snoqualmie and sleep with your windows cracked this time of year, chances are you may hear howling and/or noises in the woods at night. It’s common in spring when local wildlife become more active – especially in the overnight hours.
Some homeowners have gotten curious enough about our local wildlife neighbors that they have installed trail cams to see what roams through their yards while they sleep or aren’t home.
A homeowner living in the Allman Ave area of Snoqualmie recently shared a video to social media documenting a few of the visitors frequenting the area behind her’s and neighbors’ homes.
To Audrey Didell’s surprise, along with the expected coyotes, deer, and bobcat, the trail cam also picked up a collared cougar/mountain lion in the early morning hours of April 26th. [See video below.] She wanted residents to be aware that cougars are in the Snoqualmie Ridge area right now – and to keep an eye on kids and pets.
Over the past few years, cougars have been spotted in North Bend areas near I-90 exit 32 and in the Indian Hill area of Snoqualmie, but it’s been a while since one has been spotted or picked up on trail cam in the Snoqualmie Ridge area – although they’re most likely always around, just keeping to themselves.
The Snoqualmie Valley is home to bobcats, lynx and cougars. The cougar is the largest of the three cats. A full gown cougar can be 8 feet long from nose to tip of tail. They weigh in at about 180 pounds and stand 30 inches tall at the shoulder.
Cougar coats are tawny or reddish with no markings aside from a 2 ½ to 3 ½ foot thick black tipped tail. Their vocalizations include growls, hisses, and bird-like whistles. They purr like domestic cats, and when in season, the females give off loud, hair-raising screams. Their prey consists of deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, and wild sheep with deer being their preferred food. Cougars are solitary and avoid other cats except when mating.
Animals are common in our area, but attacks are uncommon. The probability of any wildlife conflict, aside from the occasional knocked over trash can, is slim. Cougar attacks are also very rare, as the animal is very solitary. There have only been 20 fatal cougar attacks in North America in the past 120 years. According to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, though, due to encroachment into wildlife habitat, cougar sightings and attacks on livestock and pets is on the rise.
It is recommended pets be kept indoors at night if living in areas where cougars have been spotted. You can learn more about Living with Cougars HERE.