Safari reviews rules after cat kills woman in Portland area
WINSTON, Ore. -- Following the death of a woman at a Sherwood wild cat sanctuary, staff at Wildlife Safari are going over their safety procedures to make sure a similar incident never happens here.
Johnny is the only cougar at Wildlife Safari.
Kristen Wieners is one of his keepers, and says he's pretty easy to read. "He's a pretty happy cat. He likes to be wandering around," she said.
Though he was hand raised by humans from an early age, keepers never lower their guard around him. "He is a wild animal and lets us know when he has bad days," she said.
When it comes to dealing with big cats like Johnny, members of the park staff carry pepper spray and a radio for protection.
Dan Brands, the general curator, says the biggest safety factor is not being in with the animals in the first place. "We don't go in here with the cougars at Wildlife Safari," said Brands. "When we do clean there's always a 2-person protocol. We've got a second person here on grounds to be a backup."
After a woman was found dead in a cougar enclosure in Sherwood last weekend, staff here take the case seriously. "When we hear about once of these incidents, we look into what mistakes may have been made on their end and we review our policies to make sure that we aren't putting our staff in any danger that may be similar to the situation that occurred," said Brands.