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Cougar reluctant to leave cage in Wash. state

Thursday - 5/24/2012, 1:44pm  ET

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Wildlife agents in Washington state were ready to release a captured cougar back into the wild, but it didn't want to go.

They banged on the back of the cage, poked the cougar with a pole, and tried sliding the animal out by tilting the enclosure, but the young cougar wouldn't budge.

The Daily Herald reports ( http://is.gd/enuQvp) a puff of pepper spray finally drove the cougar into the woods near Arlington, about 50 miles north of Seattle.

Wildlife Officer Dave Jones fired bean-bag rounds to teach the female cougar to stay away from people. It had been captured after wandering too close to homes.

Wildlife officers estimated the 100-pound cat was about 2 years old _ about the age when cougars are left by their mothers and have to find their own way.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)