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Oregon officials investigate cougar sighting in Troutdale

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State Police are investigating a confirmed cougar sighting that occurred about 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 7 near the Sweetbriar Elementary School in Troutdale.

Officials surveyed the area this week after receiving two reports from Troutdale area residents, including one with a photo of the animal. No further sightings have been reported since last Sunday.

Several site visits this week turned up no evidence of cougar. However, officials ask that any new sightings be promptly reported to ODFW or local law enforcement. Officials remind that anytime a cougar is spotted within the city limits, near schools, parks or around houses it should be considered a threat to public safety; in those instances ODFW recommends immediately calling 9-1-1.

Wildlife biologists are enlisting the public’s help by providing evidence of a cougar’s presence, age, and condition by taking photos and preserving evidence such as a tracks in the mud by covering them with a bucket. Send photos to info@odfw.com.

There are no documented cases of a cougar attacking a human in the wild in Oregon. Nevertheless, ODFW recommends that people concerned about the presence of cougars familiarize themselves with actions they can take to reduce possible conflicts with these animals. These actions are summarized on ODFW’s website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/cougars.asp and include the following:

Stay calm and stand your ground.
Maintain direct eye contact.
Back away slowly. Do not run. Running triggers a chase response.
Raise your voice and speak firmly.

Teach children and other family members how to react if they see a cougar, i.e., make themselves look as big as possible; yell, throw rocks and ensure the cougar does not feel welcome.

If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to look bigger and clap your hands.
If a cougar attacks, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or any items available.