Wildlife biologists captured a huge cougar in Northeast Washington earlier this week.
The 197-pound, 9-year-old male was tracked down, darted and collared for a research project studying how predators and prey, as well as wolves and lions, interact across the game-rich northern tier of the eastern half of the state.
“He looked big in the tree. But it wasn’t until we had him on the ground that we were gobsmacked,” WDFW biologist Brian Kertson told outdoor reporter Eli Francovich of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “We knew we had a monster but when we weighed him that’s when we just sort of went, ‘Wow.’ ”
Kertson told the scribe that as far as he knows it may have been the largest ever captured in Washington.
Kalispel Tribe wildlife biologist Bart George told Francovich it primarily dines on elk.
According to WDFW, the average tom is 140 pounds, with a range of 120 to 190 pounds.