Cougar in Lake Forest Park

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Photo by Janne Kaje, Lake Forest Park, 11/14/22

Lake Forest Park residents are used to wild creatures in deeply wooded backyards, but this one was clearly out of the ordinary, so Janne Kaje grabbed his phone for a photo.

Based on the reference objects in the photo, he estimates it was about 4-5 feet long head to tail.

He had a clear view and said it was not a bobcat.

This is the first time I have heard about cougars in our area. This one may have been passing through.

Kaje has so many coyotes on his property near McAleer Creek that he set up a trail cam and a YouTube channel "The Real Coyotes of Lake Forest Park"

--Diane Hettrick


jno62 November 16, 2022 at 8:10 AM  

Saw a picture of a cougar in Redmond too. Pretty crazy!

Janne Kaje,  November 16, 2022 at 9:41 AM  

Good info about cougars and how to avoid conflict:

Anonymous,  November 16, 2022 at 11:55 AM  

One mountain lion may be a beauteous and strange thing and rather sad. But related to that, the number of coyotes in Lake Forest Park at least around McAleer creek is out of control and unnatural. Don't fool yourself. It is only a matter of time before more dogs or small children or the elderly get attacked. Yes -- they are beautiful and wild but they are packed in to an unnatural degree here, landlocked in very small wildlife corridors- they are bold and can be truly dangerous. They do not fear people due to the excessive friendliness of some, for example leaving out whole bags of dried dog food for them. It's no joke. When they chorus at night you can easily distinguish something between 20 and 40 independent voices, ranging across a broad area up and down the creek and in the woods. I certainly do not feel safe in my yard at night as I used to 20 years ago. Our wildlife are not in a natural balance, that's why we don't have quails in LFP anymore! Some people also feed squirrels raw peanuts every single day, resulting in a gross explosion of rodents that is a true health risk to the community. It may be a plus for the wild birds Unlimited store, but not for the community as a whole. Plus people will react to rats etc. by setting out poison which will then kill our beloved dogs!!. It behooves no one to ignore an unnatural population explosion of coyotes or squirrels such as we have here. I wish we had more regulation of these issues. And this is a community where you cannot take down even one tree which threatens your home without hiring an arborist and spending tons of money even if you have 200 trees on your lot and you planted the stupid tree yourself. If we ever have a severe wind storm here, the city's excess rigidity and rabid focus on eliminating all sunny spots in favor of alders,will result in half of our homes being extremely seriously damaged or destroyed - and if you think the city is going to put the bill think again.. It is shortsighted just like not allowing natural wildfires to keep forests in good condition so we do not have infernos. there is a happy medium with wildlife and natural management in an urban area and we are not there.

Anonymous,  November 16, 2022 at 12:30 PM  

I recall in the late 90s I think there were several cougar sightings over in Shoreview park on the west side of Shoreline.

Anonymous,  November 16, 2022 at 12:31 PM  

This my friends, is when education becomes #1. You live just outside of town and you hear what appears to be, a baby crying, just outside, DO NOT go looking for the abandoned infant. You'd likely be met by a nightmare of protective razor sharp claws and large sharp fangs inside of powerful jaws of a momma mountain lion.

Anonymous,  November 16, 2022 at 1:34 PM  

I knew it!! I saw one in our condo parking lot, just 2 days ago. I tried to find out if there were ever any other sightings but nothing was confirmed...til now!!

Anonymous,  November 17, 2022 at 11:44 AM  

This is truly an exciting find. I have several trail cameras set up as well (near Grace Cole Park) and have captured Opossum, Raccoons (including one with a missing tail), Deer, Bobcats, and Coyotes. It truly is a joy to watch all these animals. I don't feed them, they get enough from their habitat.

Some interesting captures:
-One video had the bobcats trying to chase the deer. Quite amusing.
-two bucks smashing antlers
- new litter of coyotes every year. Last year had 7 coyote babies from I assume two different litters. This year only saw the babies a few weeks and then disappeared
-coyote chasing raccoon up tree
-crow with wild rabbit in its talons.
-bobcat with domestic rabbit in its mouth
-coyote unfortunately eating domestic rabbit
- owl eating prey
-squirrel "swimming" in moss.

Anonymous,  November 17, 2022 at 3:51 PM  

In my opinion, construction of the light rail project has eliminated what must have been an unseen animal highway adjacent I-5. The animals that migrated adjacent I-5 were forced either east or west in order to find a new hunting ground and/or a new pathway in order to migrate from one place to another. I've lived in LFP for 53 years and it's only been the last few that bobcats have been spotted and now a cougar. Also, the coyote population was never very large, but they too much have been forced from their normal pathways as well. I just hope no one feels the need to try to shoot any of the bobcats, cougars, coyotes or even the growing deer population. I think we live in a special place and that it's entirely possible for us to safely share with all the wildlife. Of course, this is just my opinion.

Anonymous,  November 17, 2022 at 4:32 PM  

Couldn’t agree more 👆🏻

Janne Kaje,  November 17, 2022 at 4:48 PM  

Regarding "When they chorus at night you can easily distinguish something between 20 and 40 independent voices, ranging across a broad area up and down the creek and in the woods." you might read this

Anonymous,  November 17, 2022 at 6:32 PM  

I don't see a tail in the photo, but I could be missing it. However, I'm pretty sure that's a bobcat.

Anonymous,  November 17, 2022 at 10:04 PM  

It's not know they've been here much longer than the first settlers came...if you live out near will encounter more creatures.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2022 at 3:35 PM  

I saw a pack of cougars at the Local 104 last night.

Anonymous,  November 23, 2022 at 2:11 AM  

I saw the cougar at 2:45 in the morning last week in North City. My dog woke me up barking at it. It had a long tail and walked away.

Anonymous,  November 23, 2022 at 9:24 AM  

‘So true about the tree removal!! I’ve been trying to jump through all the LFP hoops for months to get a permit to remove a high risk tree. Two expensive arborist reports completed and still more hoops...

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