PEND ORIELLE CO., Wash. – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife tagged the largest cougar ever in Washington state. It weighs close to 200 pounds.
Trapping the big cat is part of a large research project based in Chewelah. Part of the project looks at the interaction between wolves and cougars that prey on deer and elk.
According to Brian Kertson, a carnivore research scientist, it's his biggest catch.
Kertson offered this account: "As part of the research project we're actively capturing cougars and outfitting them with GPS collars. You could tell it was a big cougar. A couple of guys had got to the tree before I did, but then when I got up there I did look at it and think, wow that's a pretty big cat. 150, 155 pounds is normal. He was 197.2 pounds, according to the digital scale. I estimated him to be about 9 years old. He was an older cat. He's livin' it up. He's the biggest cougar that I've ever caught. He was unusual. He was extreme. We were pretty excited because we all knew this was a pretty extraordinary individual and, you know, we're probably never going to see an individual like that ever again."