Woodland stream.

WDFW Karelian Bear Dog Helps Rescue Two Kittens

This week in a happy ending to a terrible situation, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife officers rescued two cougar kittens after their mother was killed by a deer hunter. The hunter said he saw the mother cougar with her kittens and decided to shoot her anyway, unaware that this is against the law. Luckily, another hunter reported the crime and managed to save one of the kittens. WDFW officers and biologists quickly responded. Cougar dens are well hidden and due to kittens' camouflaging spots, officers knew it would be difficult to locate any remaining in the brush. That's why officers brought in Mishka, one of the department's karelian bear dogs. Mishka was able to sniff out a second kitten and now both of the brothers have been transported to the Oregon Zoo and are being well taken care of.

WDFW's karelian bear dogs are used not only to find orphaned kittens, but to catch poachers, help biologists track wildlife, and assist in the hard-release of relocated bears and cougars. The dogs and their handlers are a huge hit among the public. They exemplify how a management agency should utilize non-lethal methods and protect wildlife for all the state's citizens. They are miles ahead of game agencies in other states. Yet, despite all this good press, some department officials are not in favor of the karelian bear dog program. It is fully funded by donations--not using a single penny of the department's budget--but some still feel it may be a waste of time. If rescuing orphaned kittens and relocating cougars and bears that wander into town is important to you, please take a minute to tell WDFW Director Phil Anderson how you feel. Thank him for the amazing job his staff did to save these two orphaned kittens and that you would like to see the karelain bear dog program expanded. Personnel involved included Officers Bruce Richards, Matt Jewett, Dennis Flowers, and Biologists Bryan Murphee and Rich Beausoleil.

Director Phil Anderson: director@dfw.wa.gov ; (360) 902-2200
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501

Thank you for helping us ensure this outstanding program continues to help Washington's wildlife and set an example for other states to follow.
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