Cougar sighting prompts 'what to do' suggestions

The Ashland Police Department reported Monday that it had received a message that a cougar was seen in Lithia Park near the swimming reservoir. The cougar was chasing a deer.

Notices of the sighting have been posted in Lithia Park. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife guidelines suggests that anyone who encounters a cougar follow the following steps:

  • Leave the animal a way to escape. Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity.
  • Stay calm and stand your ground.
  • Maintain direct eye contact.
  • Pick up children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar.
  • Back away slowly. Do not run. Running can trigger a chase response in cougars, which could lead to an attack.
  • Raise your voice and speak firmly.
  • If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands.
  • If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or any items available.

State wildlife officials note that there have been no reports of a cougar attacking a human in Oregon in more than 100 years.


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