Wildlife officials find, kill cougar in search for animal that killed Gresham woman

Diana Bober.

Wildlife officials said they shot and killed a female cougar Friday in their search to find the animal that killed a Gresham woman who was hiking on a trail near here.

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildfire, the cougar was killed at about 3:15 p.m. on the Hunchback Mountain Trail area of the Mount Hood National Forest.

Diana Bober, 55, was missing nearly two weeks. Her body was found Monday about 200 feet down a steep embankment and about 100 yards off Hunchback Trail. Other hikers had found her backpack on the trail days before and brought it to the Zigzag Ranger Station. Search teams spoke to the hikers to learn where they had found it. The information they gave them was the key clue that led searchers to Bober's body.

Wildlife officials said the cougar’s carcass is being taken by the Oregon State Police to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s forensics laboratory in Ashland.

There, officials will try to determine whether the cougar had killed Bober.

ODFW said the cougar wasn't lactating, which meant she was not caring for kittens.

Wildlife officials had searched for days to find the cougar responsible for Bober's death. They used dogs and mules to aid in their search.

At about 9:20 a.m. Friday, officials said a cougar walked in front of a remote camera they had set up just feet from where Bober's backpack had been found. Wildlife officials then deployed to hunt down the cougar. Once there, dogs picked up the cougar's scent and chased after the animal until it ran up a tree. The cougar was then shot with a rifle.

ODFW said it will probably take about three days for the results to come back from the lab. Until then, officials will remain in the area and continue to search for other cougars. If they find another one, they may also kill it and test it for evidence.

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