Police are reporting that a Oregon sanctuary female caretaker who worked at an animal nature reserve has been attacked and killed by one of the natural preserve’s wildcats. Sgt. Robert Wurpes, who works for the sheriff’s office in Clackamas County states that the ambush was reported on Saturday from the WildCat Haven which is located in Sherwood, Oregon which is one of the suburbs of Portland. He says that other employees made sure the animal was locked inside in a cage after the attack happened.
When first responders and firefighters responded to the incident and arrived to the sanctuary soon after 7 p.m. Saturday, they discovered that the remote, dark area appeared to be almost inaccessible, even for their emergency vehicles , Sgt. Wurpes explained. They also experienced a lot of problems navigating to the female victim because there were so many other loose wild cats that were roaming around at the facility, unrestrained.
They had to be extremely cautious as they went in the Oregon preserve on foot, because it was tremendously dangerous. They had no idea what was going on or where other cats might be located in the area, Wurpes said. The goal was to retrieve the caretaker who was attacked and avoid other individuals becoming the target of another animal attack.
Everyone was very concerned as they were walking around in the sanctuary, he added. They had to watch closely as they made their way to the woman. When the rescue personnel were finally able to reach the caretaker, the employee had already died. The victim was identified as a female who was 35-years of age according to the Tualatin Valley Fire Department of Oregon.
Wurpes refused to give out any more information about the female victim, or how the attack happened. He also declined to reveal what type of wildcat caused the attack. He stated that data would be released late Sunday evening or on Monday. It is unknown at this time the specific details surrounding how the caretaker died and if the wildcat attack was intentional or a result of a horrible accident.
Officials from the WildCat Haven also were not releasing any information pertaining to details of the death. On the nature preserve’s website, the facility is called a last hope for over 60 known and captive born wildcats and hybrids that have been abused, neglected or abandoned. They include tigers, cougars, ligers, bobcats and lynx.
The reservation is not open to the general community, but does give on-ground excursions to people who have donated money to help keep the facility open. It is a nonprofit association which depends on those private donations to stay a no-kill nature preserve.
The website also explains that the organization is not a zoo where people can come look at animals but it is a safe place for all the animals which have been put into their care. It also explains that the Oregon rescue preserve animals depend on people to provide for them. The animals need the sanctuary employees to make sure they stay comfortable, healthy, safe and free from the pain and suffering they have experienced.
Sadly, it seems that the Oregon sanctuary caretaker was killed in the animal attack within an environment that promotes the safety and kindness away from formerly abusive and abandoned homes.
By Kimberly Ruble