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Cougar seen near Medford park may still be on the prowl

Medford police and state wildlife officials are on the lookout after witnesses reported seeing a cougar near a Medford park.

A witness spotted the cougar about 1 p.m. Friday between the playground and dog park at Bear Creek Park along the east side of the creek, according to a release issued by Medford police Friday evening. Efforts by Oregon State Police game troopers and Medford officers to find the wildcat have not yet been successful, but police say they're still searching.

Police are monitoring the area near the Medford park and working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Medford police asks anyone who has a cougar on view to call 911. ODFW recommends anyone who encounters a cougar to give the animal space.

"Stay calm, face the cougar, step away slowly and do not run," police and ODFW recommend.

If needed, a person encountering a mountain lion can make themselves appear large by raising his or her hands.

Police also recommend individuals avoid walking alone in the area where the cougar was spotted, and to keep children and pets close.

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