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MailTribune.com
  • Cougar sought in attack no longer being tracked

  • California wildlife authorities said Wednesday they have suspended their search for a female cougar that attacked and injured a sleeping Marin County man camping in Nevada County in eastern California on July 1.
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  • California wildlife authorities said Wednesday they have suspended their search for a female cougar that attacked and injured a sleeping Marin County man camping in Nevada County in eastern California on July 1.
    Attempts to find the cougar with tracking hounds for the past week failed, despite finding fresh cougar tracks in the vicinity two days after the late-night attack, according to the California Department of Fish and Game.
    The unidentified victim was alone and in a sleeping bag under the stars early on a Sunday morning when he awoke to what felt like swats from a large paw on his head.
    In the ensuing 90 seconds, the animal bit and scratched the man through the sleeping bag before it stopped, ambled 20 feet away and stared at him for another 30 seconds before wandering off, according to California game wardens.
    The man sustained severe bites and scratches to his scalp, back, left arm and armpit.
    DFG wildlife forensics scientists extracted DNA from saliva from the armpit area of his shirt, and an analysis proved it was from a female cougar, according to the DFG.
    It was the 13th confirmed cougar attack on a person in California over the past 27 years. Oregon has not had a confirmed injury or death from cougar attack in more than 100 years.
    Jacksonville's Jacob Wall is back on the junior bass-fishing circuit in Oregon, scoring recent individual and team wins at tournaments in the Portland area.
    Wall, a senior-to-be at St. Mary's High School in Medford, won an individual BASS qualifying tournament on the Willamette River, qualifying him for the second half of the state's BASS championships this weekend on the Columbia River out of Cascade Locks.
    If he wins that tournament, he qualifies for the Western Division championships set for the Sacramento River later this year.
    Wall followed the individual accolades by joining partner Nick Chin of Gresham to win The Bass Federation high-school preliminary round for its upcoming team-fishing national championship. The victory qualified the pair for a regional tournament later at Utah Lake near Provo, Utah.
    Wall and former partner Cody Pearson of Central Point took second place in last year's national TBF championship, which is open to high school bass anglers throughout the country. Pearson has since graduated from Crater High School and is no longer eligible for that tournament series.
    A Rogue Valley group working with at-risk kids is looking for a few experienced rafters to help with a trip on the upper Rogue River planned for Saturday, July 21.
    Twenty teens and their youth mentors plan to raft from Shady Cove to Dodge Bridge near Eagle Point, and their trip will end with a barbecue on the river.
    The teens are from the Campus Life HATS Mentoring Program and homeless teens living at the Hearts with a Mission Youth Shelter, according Susan Huntley, one of the event's organizers. A similar trip is planned for Aug. 18.
    Volunteers will be asked to present some sort of verification of their rafting experience. For information and to volunteer, call Huntley at 541-499-8107.
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
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