BEND, Ore. - (Update: Adding location)
A Bend-area resident shot and killed a cougar on his property earlier this week after it attacked and killed two of his Shetland sheep and a turkey.
Mark and Candy Davidson live on about 20 acres just east of Bend, on Bear Creek Road near Teal and Gosney roads. They raise the sheep for their wool to create and sell fiber. On Monday afternoon, Mark found the dead animals.
"We didn't know about the cougar until we actually found it at nighttime when we were out there," Candy Davidson said Wednesday. "We thought we were going out for coyotes."
Candy said she let her dog out Monday evening and checked on the herd once more. She saw glowing eyes in the distance -- and the animal darted.
The couple decided to walk the perimeter of their fence line, carrying a rifle. Candy said she lifted her flashlight on the far side of their property and saw eyes above the fence line. They knew it was a cougar.
Mark said he shot the cougar, but it started coming toward them, so he fired several more shots. The couple decided it was too dark to check on it, and waited until the morning. They said they found it alive the next day and shot it once more.
The Davidsons contacted an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife official, who confirmed the cougar was a male.
"They were completely understanding about the fact that we had shot it," Mark said.
According to ODFW, homeowners and property owners have a legal right to protect themselves and their property, even if it means taking lethal action against a cougar.
The cougar buried the sheep under dirt, grass, and twigs, which is why it took the Davidsons some time to find their bodies.
"To lose them that way is kind of horrific," Candy said.
She said she wants to focus on protecting the rest of her sheep and other animals.
"One of the ewes that we lost, that we didn't realize at first, was our first ewe that we had bought when we moved here," Candy said. "She was our oldest ewe."
Candy said the last thing she expected was a cougar.