Cougar Information

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.


  • 9/3 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    Updated: Over the weekend MIPD received a report from a resident who heard a screeching sound in the early hours of September 1 and another resident who reported a cougar sighting near the 3600 block of 84th Ave SE. On September 2 at approximately 8:30 P.M. a resident reported a cougar sighting near Island Crest Way and 72nd Place. Mercer Island Police later followed up with the resident and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials, and will continue to respond to all potential sightings.

    WDFW Presentation at Tonight's City Council Meeting

    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)...

    Updated: Over the weekend MIPD received a report from a resident who heard a screeching sound in the early hours of September 1 and another resident who reported a cougar sighting near the 3600 block of 84th Ave SE. On September 2 at approximately 8:30 P.M. a resident reported a cougar sighting near Island Crest Way and 72nd Place. Mercer Island Police later followed up with the resident and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials, and will continue to respond to all potential sightings.

    WDFW Presentation at Tonight's City Council Meeting

    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts will present during tonight's City Council meeting. The presentation is scheduled to begin around 6:45pm. While the Special Study Session does not allow time for public questions, MIPD and the City have shared community questions and concerns with WDFW Officers.

    Residents can attend the meeting at City Hall, watch it live via the City's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeJ06MR44sdsy8WyuMl-dcw) or on MI-TV Channel 21. The archived video will also be available after the meeting.

    Edited 9/4/2019 and 9/9/2019

  • 8/31 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    No new reports

    No new reports

  • 8/30 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    No new reports

    No new reports

  • 8/29 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    No new sightings. One 12:30am report of cougar screeching/crying near Shorewood Apartments that MIPD investigated and found no other evidence nor any other witnesses.

    Please continue to submit your questions to our cougar questions tab here on Let's Talk, and if the City cannot answer, we will forward to WDFW for its Tuesday, September 3, presentation to Council.

    No new sightings. One 12:30am report of cougar screeching/crying near Shorewood Apartments that MIPD investigated and found no other evidence nor any other witnesses.

    Please continue to submit your questions to our cougar questions tab here on Let's Talk, and if the City cannot answer, we will forward to WDFW for its Tuesday, September 3, presentation to Council.

  • 8/28 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    No new cougar reports.

    The Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) reached out to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) about WDFW’s response to the reported cougar sightings in Olympia. According to WDFW experts, the two cases are completely different and responses to each will not be the same. The primary difference is that Mercer Island has confirmed sightings (via camera) while the purpose of WDFW’s response in Olympia is to determine if there is indeed a cougar present. MIPD and the City are working closely with and supporting WDFW's response.

    To learn more about these efforts, tune into the...

    No new cougar reports.

    The Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) reached out to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) about WDFW’s response to the reported cougar sightings in Olympia. According to WDFW experts, the two cases are completely different and responses to each will not be the same. The primary difference is that Mercer Island has confirmed sightings (via camera) while the purpose of WDFW’s response in Olympia is to determine if there is indeed a cougar present. MIPD and the City are working closely with and supporting WDFW's response.

    To learn more about these efforts, tune into the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 3 when WDFW experts will give a presentation on the response to the cougar in Mercer Island. The presentation is scheduled to begin around 6:45pm. While the Special Study Session does not allow time for public questions, MIPD and the City will continue to share community questions and concerns with WDFW Officers. The City is working with WDFW to make sure those answers are incorporated into their presentation.


  • 8/27 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    No new sightings have been reported. The Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) has received a handful of calls from residents reporting to have heard noises around Pioneer Park and the south end of the Island. MIPD has responded to, and consulted the experts from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on every call. After searching the area around the location of the calls and consulting with WDFW, officers were unable to find evidence of the cougar in the area.

    WDFW Experts Presenting at September 3 Council Meeting

    On Tuesday, September 3, WDFW Captain...

    No new sightings have been reported. The Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) has received a handful of calls from residents reporting to have heard noises around Pioneer Park and the south end of the Island. MIPD has responded to, and consulted the experts from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on every call. After searching the area around the location of the calls and consulting with WDFW, officers were unable to find evidence of the cougar in the area.

    WDFW Experts Presenting at September 3 Council Meeting

    On Tuesday, September 3, WDFW Captain Alan Myers along with another wildlife expert will speak to the City Council about their response to the cougar sightings on Mercer Island. They will present during a Special Study Session scheduled for 6.45pm at City Hall in Council Chambers. The City will broadcast the Council Meeting live via the City’s YouTube channel as well as on MI-TV Channel 21. The video will also be available to watch after the meeting.


  • 8/26 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    No new sightings were reported to MIPD or WDFW over the weekend.

    No new sightings were reported to MIPD or WDFW over the weekend.

  • 8/23 Cougar Update

    3 months ago
    Cmreport cougar

    As of Friday, August 23, no new sightings have been reported to MIPD or WDFW.

    At Tuesday's (8/20) Council Meeting, Interim City Manager Jessi Bon included an update on the cougar during her City Manager's Report. The video has been uploaded here, to the Cougar Information page. Visit the videos section or click here to watch the report.


    As of Friday, August 23, no new sightings have been reported to MIPD or WDFW.

    At Tuesday's (8/20) Council Meeting, Interim City Manager Jessi Bon included an update on the cougar during her City Manager's Report. The video has been uploaded here, to the Cougar Information page. Visit the videos section or click here to watch the report.


  • 8/21 Cougar Update

    3 months ago
    Seeking signs

    After reports of a potential sighting this morning south of Pioneer Park, residents have been asking for the latest update on locating the cougar. Today’s report (near SE 74th Place) involved a possible sighting of something that looked like part of a cougar’s tail protruding from landscaping.

    The report was fully investigated on-site by the Mercer Island Police Department as soon as the call came in, with no results. This afternoon, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts visited the area of the reported sighting searching very carefully for any additional signs or clues. While deer footprints were...

    After reports of a potential sighting this morning south of Pioneer Park, residents have been asking for the latest update on locating the cougar. Today’s report (near SE 74th Place) involved a possible sighting of something that looked like part of a cougar’s tail protruding from landscaping.

    The report was fully investigated on-site by the Mercer Island Police Department as soon as the call came in, with no results. This afternoon, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts visited the area of the reported sighting searching very carefully for any additional signs or clues. While deer footprints were clearly evident, no prints of large cats were located, nor were there any other tell-tale signs of mountain lion presence. See Photos.

    At this time, this means that reported sightings are still limited to the list publicized a few days ago. Only two of these sightings have been confirmed, both times via security cameras.

    • 6400 block of E Mercer Way (8/5)
    • 7000 block of 94th Ave SE (8/6)
    • 6100 block of 86th Ave SE (8/9)
    • 5400 block of Island Crest Way (8/9)
    • 7600 block of W Mercer Way (8/12)

    To report a cougar sighting, please call 911. The Mercer Island Police Department will respond and is coordinating directly with WDFW. For more information, please visit: https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species/puma-concolor

  • 8/16 Cougar Update

    3 months ago

    As of August 16, no new sightings have been reported to the City or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) continues to support WDFW Officers the with efforts to track and locate the cougar. The City has also shared the community’s questions and concerns with WDFW and will be putting out a Q&A with their responses as soon as we hear back.

    WDFW 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...

    As of August 16, no new sightings have been reported to the City or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) continues to support WDFW Officers the with efforts to track and locate the cougar. The City has also shared the community’s questions and concerns with WDFW and will be putting out a Q&A with their responses as soon as we hear back.

    WDFW 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.

    These are the sightings that have been reported to MIPD and WDFW:

    • 6400 block of E Mercer Way (8/5)
    • 7000 block of 94th Ave SE (8/6)
    • 6100 block of 86th Ave SE (8/9)
    • 5400 block of Island Crest Way (8/9)
    • 7600 block of W Mercer Way (8/12)

    For more information visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species/puma-concolor