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 (http://is.gd/enuQvp) a puff of pepper spray finally drove the cougar into the woods near Arlington, about 50 miles north of Seattle.
Wildlife Officer Dave Jones fired beanbag 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.