Cougar attacks horse near Camp Gifford

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by WHITNEY WARD & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 30, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 1 at 3:26 PM

STEVENS COUNTY, A horse had to be put-down after acougar attack Tuesday night in Stevens County. The attacked happened Sunday less than a half mile away from Camp Gifford which houses more than 150 kids for the summer.

Fish and Wildlife leaders said the attack happened in a rural area surrounded by
thousands of acres of open land that is home to cougars and other animals.

Authorities said it is uncommon for a cougar to attack a horse.

PHOTOS: Graphic images of the horse’s injuries

The hot weather could have brought the cougar down from the mountains, where water is drying up according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Authorities called in a houndsman and six bloodhounds to search for the mountain lion.  Fish and Wildfire officials said they will search for 14 days, but said the hot temperatures and dry conditions will make it difficult for dogs to track the animal.

The cougar will be put down if it is found according to Fish and Wildlife.

It was actually counselors at Camp Gifford who first alerted Fish and Wildlife officials that th cougar. The animal was spotted about ten feet from a child just days before horse attack according to camp leaders.

“There was a kid looking at a raspberry bush, trying to pick a raspberry, when the counselor saw the cougar resting in the trees,” said Chris Adams with the camp. “He immediately went to the child,  but himself between the cougar and the kid. And then it got up and walked away.”

Camp Gifford leaders said they are keeping kids closer following the attack.  They immediately closed their wilderness camp.  All kids are now limited to activities in the main camping area.

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