Stevens County urges residents to report interactions with predators

By: 
Roger Harnack
Publisher

Stevens County officials are calling on the public to report human-predator interactions in a timely manner.
Sheriff Brad Manke today said there has been a “recent increase” in reported encounters, particularly with cougars and wolves.
“The Sheriff’s Office would like to be notified of all conflicts between humans, livestock and predators,” he said. “Wolves and cougars are the main predator focus.”
The statement from Manke today follows previous reports of wolves in populated areas and cougar attacks on farm animals, including a donkey.
“A conflict could include the actual killing of pets or livestock, a predator acting aggressively, or a predator being in very close proximity to a residence or livestock enclosure,” Manke said, urging residents to call 911 if there is imminent danger.
Non-emergency interaction reports can be made by calling Stevens County Dispatch at 509-684-2555, he said.
In addition to taking down the information, local dispatchers will share the information with state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Non-interactive sightings should be reported to game officials online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/living/dangerous-wildlife/reports or by calling 877-933-9847.
Under state law game officials are required to post incidents involving “predatory wildlife” on its website, Manke said, adding, “This includes accounts of 'safety confrontations or sightings, as well as the known details of reported depredations by predatory wildlife on humans, pets, or livestock.'”
State game officials have 10 days to post the information from the date a report is received.
“Reporting wolf and cougar sightings to WDFW will help keep a more accurate accounting of the frequency of these events,” Manke said. “Timely and accurate reporting will also help ensure accountability by both the Sheriff’s Office and WDFW to the citizens both agencies serve.”
The statement comes just days after a wolf was reportedly killed on the Spokane Indian Reservation in southern Stevens County.
The wolf was previously collared with a GPS tracking device, state official said, noting no other information is available on that incident.

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