Cougar fights mare along Duwamish River on June 10, 1872.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 8/14/1999
  • Essay 1630
See Additional Media

On the evening of June 10, 1872, a "fine mare" owned by David Graham fights with a cougar to protect her colt. Graham's farm is located at Seattle's present-day south boundary just east of the Duwamish River (45th Avenue S to 50th Avenue S and S Leo St to S Juniper St).  The mare suffers "deep and severe cuts" on her neck and face (Puget Sound Dispatch). The colt dies of its injuries the following day.

 The Weekly Intelligencer described the encounter between the mare and cougar as follows:

"Her appearance would indicate a long continued struggle, and, from the fact that she prevented the animal from killing her colt outright, which it injured, however, so seriously as to cause its death the next morning, it would seem that she must have used her hoofs most adroitly and successfully, and rather discomfitted [sic] that sanguinary and terrible specimen of the feline race" (The Weekly Intelligencer June 17, 1872).

On July 31, 1872, a cougar, apparently the same one, killed one of J. B. McCallister's calves. McCallister, a farmer of land located near Graham's, allowed his cattle to range over the countryside without fences. Concerned that his other stock might be injured or killed, McCallister acquired some strychnine and applied it to the carcass of the calf killed by the cougar. The following morning he discovered that the cougar had returned and consumed more of the dead animal. McCallister followed its tracks and located the cougar suffering from the effects of the poisoned meat. He shot the cougar and skinned it. McCallister planned to tan the eight-foot-long hide and turn it into a robe.


The Weekly Intelligencer (Seattle), June 17, 1872, p. 3; Ibid., August 5, 1872, p. 3; Puget Sound Dispatch (Seattle), June 13, 1872, p. 3.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You