What to do if you find a wild animal - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

What to do if you find a wild animal

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SOUTH RICHLAND, Wash.—Last week a cougar was a little too close for comfort for one man, and now people are asking what if that were me?

A representative with the WA Fish and Wildlife says neighbors do not need to be concerned.  Cougar sightings are extremely rare in the Tri-Cities and last Friday was the exception.

A construction worker in South Richland found a cougar in a half-built home.  Fish and Wildlife say he did a couple things right.  He didn't approach the animal; he remained calm, backed away slowly and called Fish and Wildlife.

Wildlife officers mainly receive complaints about coyotes, and sometimes cougar, but most are never confirmed.  However, let's say you do come into contact with a wild aggressive animal, what should you do?

"You make yourself appear larger so the animal doesn't consider you prey, and they look at you as more of a threat than something to pursue," says Sgt. Mike Jewell, WA Fish and Wildlife Police

Jewell says as more developers move into animal habitats, there may be more interaction, but so far it isn't a huge issue locally.

The sergeant also says rattlesnakes cause nervousness for some, but he says only about two people are bite each year, and typically it's someone working with the snakes.