Cougar Reluctant to Leave Cage

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Wildlife agents in Washington state were ready to release a captured cougar back into the wild, but it didn't want to go.

They banged on the back of the cage, poked the cougar with a pole, and tried sliding the animal out by tilting the enclosure, but the young cougar wouldn't budge.

The Daily Herald reports a puff of pepper spray finally drove the cougar into the woods near Arlington, about 50 miles north of Seattle.

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Wildlife Officer Dave Jones fired bean-bag rounds to teach the female cougar to stay away from people. It had been captured after wandering too close to homes.

Wildlife officers estimated the 100-pound cat was about 2 years old — about the age when cougars are left by their mothers and have to find their own way.

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