Cougar Information

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On Monday, August 5, the Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) was alerted to a cougar prowling overnight in the vicinity of Pioneer Park, and it was observed clearly on security camera footage at approximately 6400 East Mercer Way before dawn.

Since then, possible sightings have been reported a handful of other times on the south end of Mercer Island but only two of these are photo-confirmed sightings, on Aug 5 & 6. (See potential sightings list in the right-hand menu.)

The City is working closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). WDFW officers are the trained and experienced subject matter experts in wildlife management.

MIPD asks that any resident who sees the cougar, immediately call 9-1-1. MIPD Officers will respond to the location as well as contact WDFW. Officers will investigate the report and make a determination with WDFW what resources to utilize to address the situation. While Mercer Island Police Officers are not trained to capture or track wildlife, they are prepared to use force if an animal poses an imminent threat to the public.

To report a cougar sighting, call 9-1-1 immediately.

This page will be updated regularly with any new information reported to MIPD or WDFW. To receive alerts, subscribe to project updates (right-hand menu).

Leave your comments in the forum section or ask questions in the Q&A tab.


On Monday, August 5, the Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) was alerted to a cougar prowling overnight in the vicinity of Pioneer Park, and it was observed clearly on security camera footage at approximately 6400 East Mercer Way before dawn.

Since then, possible sightings have been reported a handful of other times on the south end of Mercer Island but only two of these are photo-confirmed sightings, on Aug 5 & 6. (See potential sightings list in the right-hand menu.)

The City is working closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). WDFW officers are the trained and experienced subject matter experts in wildlife management.

MIPD asks that any resident who sees the cougar, immediately call 9-1-1. MIPD Officers will respond to the location as well as contact WDFW. Officers will investigate the report and make a determination with WDFW what resources to utilize to address the situation. While Mercer Island Police Officers are not trained to capture or track wildlife, they are prepared to use force if an animal poses an imminent threat to the public.

To report a cougar sighting, call 9-1-1 immediately.

This page will be updated regularly with any new information reported to MIPD or WDFW. To receive alerts, subscribe to project updates (right-hand menu).

Leave your comments in the forum section or ask questions in the Q&A tab.


  • Wildwood Park Tree Damage

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    9 months ago

    The City received questions about scratching marks on trees in Wildwood Park. Pictures of the trees were sent to WDFW who confirmed that a deer caused the markings.


    The City received questions about scratching marks on trees in Wildwood Park. Pictures of the trees were sent to WDFW who confirmed that a deer caused the markings.


  • 10/1 Cougar Update

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    9 months ago

    Late this morning (10:50am), MIPD received a call about a possible cougar sighting just south of Ellis Pond near 89th Ave SE and SE 47 St.

    The reporting party, who was walking their dog, stated that the animal was approximately 20 yards away, sunning itself near trail bollards, and then walked east into a neighboring yard. The animal was thought to be the size of a large dog - about 50 lbs, brownish in color, with a 2-foot long fluffy tail and pointed ears.

    When the officer met the reporting party onsite, there was some uncertainty...

    Late this morning (10:50am), MIPD received a call about a possible cougar sighting just south of Ellis Pond near 89th Ave SE and SE 47 St.

    The reporting party, who was walking their dog, stated that the animal was approximately 20 yards away, sunning itself near trail bollards, and then walked east into a neighboring yard. The animal was thought to be the size of a large dog - about 50 lbs, brownish in color, with a 2-foot long fluffy tail and pointed ears.

    When the officer met the reporting party onsite, there was some uncertainty as to whether the animal seen was a cougar or another dog.

    MIPD thoroughly checked the area around the potential sighting and found no other substantiating evidence. All information was forwarded to WDFW.

  • 9/17 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago

    No new sightings over the weekend.

    Since the first confirmed sighting on August 5, the City has worked closely with WDFW on all reported potential sightings and kept the public updated with daily posts on the Cougar Information page. Given that there have been no confirmed sightings since August 6, the City is now transitioning to periodic updates only when major developments occur.

    Residents are still encouraged to contact MIPD by phone if they believe they have seen the animal; reports via social media are difficult for the City to act on in a timely manner.

    No new sightings over the weekend.

    Since the first confirmed sighting on August 5, the City has worked closely with WDFW on all reported potential sightings and kept the public updated with daily posts on the Cougar Information page. Given that there have been no confirmed sightings since August 6, the City is now transitioning to periodic updates only when major developments occur.

    Residents are still encouraged to contact MIPD by phone if they believe they have seen the animal; reports via social media are difficult for the City to act on in a timely manner.

  • 9/13 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago

    No new sightings have been reported.

    No new sightings have been reported.

  • 9/12 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago
    No new sightings have been reported.

    No new sightings have been reported.
  • 9/11 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago

    No new sightings have been reported.

    No new sightings have been reported.

  • 9/10 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago

    On September 9, MIPD Officer White responded to a possible sighting at the 3700 block of 88th Ave SE. His investigation included the reporting party finding potential cougar scat in the yard. Officer White sent the photo to WDFW. Upon review, WDFW experts noted, “That is deer droppings with bad digestion. Not cougar scat.” No other sightings reported.

    On September 9, MIPD Officer White responded to a possible sighting at the 3700 block of 88th Ave SE. His investigation included the reporting party finding potential cougar scat in the yard. Officer White sent the photo to WDFW. Upon review, WDFW experts noted, “That is deer droppings with bad digestion. Not cougar scat.” No other sightings reported.

  • 9/9 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago

    No new sightings were reported over the weekend.

    No new sightings were reported over the weekend.

  • 9/5 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago

    No new cougar reports.

    WDFW Information Added

    In addition to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) video presentation from the September 3 Council Meeting, WDFW and MIPD presentation slides have been added to the Document Library, located in the righthand menu.

    WDFW Responds to Community Questions and Concerns

    Leading up to WDFW's presentation, the City shared questions and concerns expressed by the community. WDFW incorporated responses throughout their presentation. For ease of access, we've pulled out presentation segments that respond to those questions/concerns and have linked to those here.









    No new cougar reports.

    WDFW Information Added

    In addition to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) video presentation from the September 3 Council Meeting, WDFW and MIPD presentation slides have been added to the Document Library, located in the righthand menu.

    WDFW Responds to Community Questions and Concerns

    Leading up to WDFW's presentation, the City shared questions and concerns expressed by the community. WDFW incorporated responses throughout their presentation. For ease of access, we've pulled out presentation segments that respond to those questions/concerns and have linked to those here.









  • 9/4 Cougar Update

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    10 months ago

    No new reported cougar sightings since September 2.

    WDFW 9/3 Council Presentation

    At last night’s City Council meeting, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts, Brian Kertson and Kim Chandler joined Mercer Island Police Chief Ed Holmes and Services Commander Jeff Magnan for a special presentation on the response to the reported cougar sightings on Mercer Island. The archived video is available by following this link (the video begins at the start of the cougar presentation) or visiting the video section in in the righthand menu.


    No new reported cougar sightings since September 2.

    WDFW 9/3 Council Presentation

    At last night’s City Council meeting, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts, Brian Kertson and Kim Chandler joined Mercer Island Police Chief Ed Holmes and Services Commander Jeff Magnan for a special presentation on the response to the reported cougar sightings on Mercer Island. The archived video is available by following this link (the video begins at the start of the cougar presentation) or visiting the video section in in the righthand menu.