8/22/2014

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'Very angry' cougar on I-5 hit by car, later put down

'Very angry' cougar on I-5 hit by car, later put down
A picture of the cougar before it had to be put down. (Photo courtesy Washington State Patrol)
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WOODLAND, Wash. -- A cougar was hit by a car on Friday morning on Interstate 5 just north of Woodland and was later euthanized, state troopers said.

After being hit by the car, the cougar was seen by witnesses in the freeway median, appearing "very angry," said Washington State Patrol Trooper William Finn.

The female 100-pound cougar was trying to cross three lanes of traffic when it was hit by a small passenger car, Finn said.

The 23-year-old driver suffered some shoulder pain, but did not need medical attention, the trooper said. She declined to speak to the media.

The cougar was causing a traffic backup, as one southbound lane of I-5 was blocked off when authorities responded to assess the situation.

After troopers responded, they contacted Washington Department of Wildlife officials, who made the decision to put the cougar down.

"Sometimes we have bald eagles struck up this way, it's very rural. We have deer that are struck, we have dogs that get loose from homes," Finn said. "Sometimes we can get them the proper help they need and have a successful ending. Unfortunately this morning we didn't have that."

Finn said it appeared the cougar was in a lot of pain.

"It's a terrible, terrible situation to be in," he said.

Transportation officials removed the cougar from the median after it was euthanized.

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