Rare cougar sighting on I-90

During the busy weekend preceding the 4th of July, a bold cougar apparently decided to try his or her luck and ran into traffic along I-90. The sighting, made around 11pm during a hard rain, was reported by a motorist who was fortunately able to avoid a collision–and then couldn’t believe what she had seen. She reported that a cougar with a “VERY long tail…was just running across the road, and from nose to tail took up the whole width of the lane.” The motorist was traveling eastbound and the cougar entered the roadway from the south, meaning that it would next have to cross the median and traverse the westbound lanes (or turn around). To our knowledge, the crossing was a success–at least this time.  But it’s comforting to know that wildlife crossing structures and fencing will eventually provide a much safer and easier means for cougars and other animals to make their way across the I-90 corridor. The photo below shows a cougar captured by remote camera near Snoqualmie Pass. Maybe it’s even the same animal that decided to chance the highway on that rainy night in late June!

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Cougar near Snoqualmie Pass. Credit: WTI

4 Responses to “Rare cougar sighting on I-90”

  1. Great photo, I doubt the cougar took up the whole width of the lane!

  2. Saw several coyotes at Stateline, Idaho & I-90. Last Fall, 3 moose were stranded at the Liberty Lake exit on I-90.

  3. I live at Alpental-Snoqualmie pass summit. A neighbor told last night as she was driving up the pass to Alpental(before exit 52), she sited a cougar in the middle of the highway sitting up on its haunches – it had been hit – it was injured – trucks/cars – people pulled over to help the cougar. My neighbor had to drive slowly past the cougar – it was baring its teeth, snarling- any word about the cougar?

  4. Hi Charmaine. Thanks for your comment. Sadly, it seems unlikely that this animal survived based on the reports we’ve had from other motorists (please visit my blog on the I-90 Wildlife Watch website (http://i90wildlifewatch.org/sad-news-cougar-struck-by-vehicle). Very tragic. Please keep your eyes open up there and report any future wildlife sightings on the website, okay? And please encourage your neighbors to report sightings as well. Thanks again, Paula

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