FRUITLAND, Wash – 9-year-old Lily was attacked and severely injured by a cougar on May 28th in the Fruitland area of Stevens County. She was hospitalized and received over 400 stitches. However, Thursday, June 23, Lily faced her fears and was back in the woods in an awesome form of therapy and education.
Bart George, wildlife program manager for the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, runs a research study that aims to keep cougars from being habituated to humans and livestock. In this study cougars are collared, released, then tracked further with hounds. No cougars are killed in the study. The goal is to test methods of aversive conditioning that will ultimately result in less human/livestock conflict and result in removing fewer cougars from the landscape. Stevens County Wildlife Specialist Jeff Flood and houndsman Bruce Duncan frequently help George with the study.
George, Flood, and Duncan were in contact with Lily’s family and invited her to accompany them to remove the collar from a cougar they had been studying. As you can see from the photo, Lily has faced any fears she may have head-on and had a fantastic experience doing so. The cougar was safely released back into the woods. For more information on the cougar, study go to https://kalispeltribe.com/blog/2022/04/20/bart-george/