FINLEY, Wash. - "It's scary knowing that its so close and I could lose livestock," said Tonya Goulet who lives in Finley.
The first confirmed sighting of the wild feline was early Thursday morning. It was in a tree but jumped out and ran away before Fish and Wildlife officers arrived.
"It's a wild animal so they're unpredictable," said Fish and Wildlife officer Brian Fulton. "I wouldn't say its there to come after any person, it's looking for an easy meal."
Officials said five or six goats have already been killed by the cougar.
"It's wild so I guess its something you expect when you live out in the country," said Goulet.
Officials say cougars live all over the region. In the Horse Heaven Hills, Rattlesnake Mountain area and in Walla Walla County.
"They're not strangers to the area," said Fulton. "Like I said typically, the ones that show up in the residential areas, preying on animals they shouldn't prey on are young cougars that have been kicked out of the litter by mom and are trying to establish their own territory."
For now, Fish and Wildlife officers say they're at a standstill in the case of the elusive cougar. Rumors are swirling in Finley, though. There's talk that there are more than one of the cats and that one of them was killed last night. But Fish and Wildlife is not aware, if that's the case. According to officials there is only one and it hasn't been captured or killed as far as they know.
"Just keep an eye out and hope to god that the livestock will make it through and the people that need to can catch it and it can be put back where it belongs," said Goulet.
Fish and Wildlife officers said if they do find the cougar they will have to euthenize it because it did kill those goats in Finley.