Cougar Breaks Into House Through Screen Door, Shot With Tranquilizers

A cougar jumped through the screen door of a home in Washington state, before ending up unconscious in the kitchen sink after it was shot twice with a tranquilizer gun.

Video shared with KXLY, a Spokane-based TV station, showed the big cat roaming the city of Ephrata on Tuesday and climbing over a fence into the garden of a local home.

Ephrata Police Department told The Spokesman-Review in a statement that the cougar then managed to claw its way through the screen door and into the house.

The homeowner, who was not present when the cougar broke in, called the police, who made sure the area was secure.

The local police department then contacted officers from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife's police division to assist in catching the animal.

Once inside the home, officers from the wildlife police shot the cougar with a tranquilizer dart, but it ran into the kitchen and attempted to leave the house through a window above the sink.

The officers shot the cougar with a second dart before it could escape, causing it to fall unconscious in the sink.

Becky Bennett, a spokesperson for the wildlife police, told The Spokesman-Review it was unlikely that the cougar was looking to attack anyone. She said the big cat was probably searching for a place to hide after roaming the neighborhood.

"Generally an animal gets disoriented and it's a matter of them getting lost and not knowing how to get away from the population," Bennett said.

She confirmed that the department had tagged the cougar in case of a "repeat offense" and described the incident as "a wrong time, wrong place, wrong house situation."

Staci Lehman, another spokesperson for the wildlife department, told that the cougar had been taken for relocation to a more appropriate area—where it can roam uninterrupted away from humans.

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife's website states that sightings of cougars—also known as pumas or mountain lions—are common in the state, but there have been only 20 recorded attacks on humans by the animals since 1924. Two of those attacks were fatal: one in 1924 and one in 2018.

The incident in Ephratacame on the same day that a homeowner in San Bruno, California, scared off a cougar that broke into their house through a window at around 12:25 a.m. in the morning, according to CBS San Francisco.

Newsweek has contacted Ephrata Police Department and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife for further comment.

Cougar jumps through glass door
The cougar (Puma concolor) is also commonly known as a mountain lion or puma. A cougar jumped through the screen door of a home in Washington state on May 25 before being captured by wildlife officers. It has now been relocated. Karel Bock/iStock / Getty Images Plus