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A few of the cougar "sightings" have been up close and personal. One night, a cougar jumped up onto my son-in-law's back deck while he was sitting 4 feet away in the hot tub. It snatched his pet cat off the deck and would have eaten it except that my son-in-law ran out yelling onto the deck and chased it off, making it drop the cat. The cat survived, but could only choke down soft food for months.

A few days earlier, the cougar killed and ate one of their goats and another cat. A few days later, at twilight, it gobbled up their beloved 16-yr-old Dachshund off the lawn less than 6 feet from the front door. He had only gone out briefly to urinate.

The cougar has a female cub, which it has undoubtedly taught to hunt near houses: they don’t fear people. Both are emaciated, starving because there's just not enough food to feed such a rapidly-escalating cougar population.

It's only a matter of time before one of these hungry cougars eats someone's child.

A limited number of tags must be issued to local gun owners, so they can hunt cougars with dogs (which don't fight them, but simply chase them up a tree where they can be easily shot).

It is absurd to allow 6,000 cougars free range in our ever-more-populous state.

June Forsyth Kenagy

Albany (Nov. 5)

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