Two runners on a Sunday afternoon run, found something unusual on the side of the road. What they found not only startled them, it also surprised Oregon State Police.
Jolene Kachel-Kreger and a friend were jogging at the 35,000 block of Scravel Hill Road in Albany when they notice a plastic bag laying in the ditch.
There was something different about the bag. “It looked like an animal had chewed through part of the bag and you see what looked like cat nose,” Kachel-Kreger said. “When I lifted the bag, that’s when the head fell out.”
When the head came out there blood was dripping from the bag. “Gross!” Kachel-Kreger said. “We see all kinds of trash and animals on the side of the road when we run. I was surprised what was in the bag.”
The duo found the remains of a cougar.
“Everything was there, the head, paws and pelt,” Kachel-Kreger said.
All of the internal organs and meat were missing.
It appeared that someone had shot the animal, cleaned it and then left the remains in the bag, according to Kachel-Kreger.
The remains were reported OSP. Game warden Jim Andrews was the officer on duty and responded to the call.
When Andrews received the call, it came across the radio as a decapitated cougar. “The majority of calls that I receive like this typically turn out to be misidentified animal,” Andrews said. “I was very surprised. That was not what I was expecting.”
With appearance of the carcass being so clean, it appeared that someone may have had the intentions of make something out of it, like a rug, Andrews said.
Andrews removed the carcass and contacted Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said Andrews.
It is illegal to kill a cougar without a tag or beyond cougar hunting season. It is also illegal to dispose of the carcass along the side of a road, Andrews said.
This is an ongoing investigation. Evidence from the carcass will be collected and reviewed by ODFW to determine if the animal was taken with a hunting tag.
In Oregon, samples from all cougar kills are collected to monitor the species, said Andrews.
Additional evidence will be stored as the investigation continues, Andrews said.
Contact Ted Holliday at Ted.Holliday@Lee.Net or 541-259-3127.