Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Reported cougar attack near Cheney-Spokane Road likely coyote


Last updated 2/6/2020 at 11:11am

CHENEY – Reports of a possible cougar attack off of Cheney-Spokane Road last week may have actually been something a bit less sinister but no less dangerous.

Social media accounts on Wednesday reported a “confirmed cougar attack” on a goat at a home in the area of Gibbs and Sherman roads, south of the Cheney-Spokane Road in the Latah Creek area that took place on Tuesday night. The goat was “eviscerated” before the cougar was scared off, the post noted.

Department of Fish and Wildlife community outreach liaison for the DFW police Becky Bennett said on Feb. 3 the only report of a cougar they had received in that area at that time was an incident where a vehicle almost hit an animal. Upon further examination of other reports, she said local officers did investigate an unconfirmed cougar attack on a sheep in the Gibbs Road area near Sherman on Monday night, but that evidence at the scene indicated the attacking animal was a coyote and not a cougar.

Bennett said a camera was placed to monitor the location, and that a local houndsman had been contacted just in case the animal was found.

“We are treating this as a predator attack, regardless of what species,” she added.

Bennett said there are measures people living in rural areas with pets and livestock can take to protect their animals. Animals should be locked inside at night as much as possible, and a portable radio tuned in to stations with talk-news formats can be placed to create noise.

Lights and motion detectors can also be placed on the property to deter possible predators, and care taken to make sure to avoid places such as areas of dense underbrush were attacking animals can hide.

If coming into contact with a predator, Bennett said dial 911 as quickly as possible in order to alert law enforcement and DFW officers in time to arrive on scene to conduct an investigation. She also said that if the contact leaves an individual fearing for their property or health, they have “every right to take action” including removing the animal with a weapon.

To report non-emergency contact with dangerous wildlife, call 877-933-9847.

John McCallum can be reached at

Author Bio

John McCallum, Managing Editor

John McCallum is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Cheney Free Press for over 20 years. He has received 10 Washington Newspaper Publisher Association awards for journalism and photography, including first place awards for Best Investigative, Best News and back-to-back awards in Best Breaking News categories. He has been serving as editor of the Spokane Valley News Herald since March 2020.

Phone: 509-235-6184
Contact John McCallum


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