Cougar being released reluctant to leave cage

May 25 2012 - 9:49am

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An approximately 2-year-old female cougar bares her teeth at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents preparing to release her back into the wild northeast of Arlington Wednesday afternoon. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday after being spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, the cougar was released back into the wild by Fish and Wildlife agents. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)
An approximately 2-year-old female cougar bares her teeth as officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife try to chase her out of a trap northeast of Arlington Wednesday afternoon. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday when it was spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, the cougar was released back into the wild by Fish and Wildlife agents. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)
An approximately 2-year-old female cougar leaves a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap northeast of Arlington, Wash., Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday when it was spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, Washington wildlife agents were ready to release a captured cougar back into the wild northeast of Arlington, but it didn't want to go. They banged on the back of the cage, poked the cougar with a pole and tilted the cage and tried to slide her out, but she wouldn't budge. The Daily Herald reports a puff of pepper spray finally drove the cougar into the woods. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)
An approximately 2-year-old female cougar runs away from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap after being released northeast of Arlington Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday when it was spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, the cougar was released back into the wild by Fish and Wildlife agents. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)
An approximately 2-year-old female cougar bares her teeth at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents preparing to release her back into the wild northeast of Arlington Wednesday afternoon. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday after being spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, the cougar was released back into the wild by Fish and Wildlife agents. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)
An approximately 2-year-old female cougar bares her teeth as officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife try to chase her out of a trap northeast of Arlington Wednesday afternoon. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday when it was spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, the cougar was released back into the wild by Fish and Wildlife agents. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)
An approximately 2-year-old female cougar leaves a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap northeast of Arlington, Wash., Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday when it was spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, Washington wildlife agents were ready to release a captured cougar back into the wild northeast of Arlington, but it didn't want to go. They banged on the back of the cage, poked the cougar with a pole and tilted the cage and tried to slide her out, but she wouldn't budge. The Daily Herald reports a puff of pepper spray finally drove the cougar into the woods. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)
An approximately 2-year-old female cougar runs away from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap after being released northeast of Arlington Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The cougar was trapped on Tuesday when it was spotted too close to an area populated by humans. After receiving a tag, the cougar was released back into the wild by Fish and Wildlife agents. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Mulligan)

EVERETT, Wash. -- Wildlife agents in Washington state were ready to release a captured cougar back into the wild, but it didn't want to go.

They banged on the back of the cage, poked the cougar with a pole, and tried sliding the animal out by tilting the enclosure, but the young cougar wouldn't budge.

The Daily Herald reports a puff of pepper spray finally drove the cougar into the woods near Arlington, about 50 miles north of Seattle.

Wildlife Officer Dave Jones fired bean-bag rounds to teach the female cougar to stay away from people. It had been captured after wandering too close to homes.

Wildlife officers estimated the 100-pound cat was about 2 years old -- about the age when cougars are left by their mothers and have to find their own way.

 

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