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Cougar sightings reported in The Dalles

 
May 18, 2010

 

THE DALLES, Ore.—ODFW has received multiple unconfirmed reports of cougar sightings in The Dalles and is asking residents to be on the lookout and take appropriate precautions.

In the last 10 days, three sightings have been reported on the eastside of town near the hospital.

People that see a cougar in the area should immediately call ODFW at 541-296-4628 or the police at 911.

“While there are no reports of a cougar killing pets or livestock in this area, for one to be seen multiple times during the day near residences is unusual for a cougar,” explained Jeremy Thompson, ODFW district biologist. “We consider cougars that exhibit this kind of behavior to be human safety concerns.”

ODFW is monitoring the situation, in cooperation with local law enforcement.

Residents should also take the following precautions:

  • Be aware of any wildlife corridors or places where deer or elk concentrate; cougars could be there too.
  • Keep pets indoors at dawn and dusk. Shelter them for the night.
  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Be more cautious at dawn and dusk when cougars are most active.

No person has ever been attacked by a cougar in Oregon and encounters are very rare. But should you encounter a cougar:

  • 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 triggers 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.
  • In the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or any items available.

For more information on cougars in Oregon, visit

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/living-with-cougars.asp

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Contact:

Jeremy Thompson (541) 296-4628 or
Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Fax: (503) 947-6009

 
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