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UPDATE – May 15, 2019

ODFW has received two additional reports of a cougar in the Deschutes River Canyon area. One was a sighting near the canal near Fred Meyer during early morning hours on May 6.

The second more concerning report is of a deer kill within a subdivision on the east rim of the Deschutes River canyon. ODFW investigated the kill site and confirmed it as a cougar kill today.

Based on the additional sightings and evidence of the cougar’s continued use and residency within city limits, ODFW and Bend Police believe this cougar to be a public safety threat. ODFW is now taking steps to kill the cougar.

Residents and hikers in the Deschutes River Canyon area are encouraged to continue taking precautions and to review cougar safety information, see our Living with Cougars page and this cougar sighting sign for more information.

Contact: Michelle Dennehy, (503) 947-6022 / (503) 931-2748,


Cougar seen in Deschutes River Canyon area - Public advised to avoid area

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

BEND, Ore.—An adult cougar has been spotted and confirmed to have been using the Deschutes River Canyon area within Bend city limits. It was sighted yesterday morning and again on a trail camera about 8:30 p.m. yesterday.

While the cougar is not considered an immediate human safety threat, ODFW and the Bend Police Department are advising people not to use the canyon or River Trail system upstream of Bill Healy Bridge. This area has been signed (PDF of sign) to let people know a cougar was seen and steps to take during a cougar encounter. People are advised to avoid using this area of the River Trail system upstream of the bridge as long as the signs remain in place, to reduce the risk of any encounter.

The cougar was spotted in the same general area as theone euthanized by wildlife managers in February for being a public safety threat. That adult male cougar had been actively hunting for several days in backyards, on city streets, in resort areas, and near human residences.

The cougar seen yesterday has not shown behaviors described in statute indicating it is a human safety threat. Under state statute 498.166, cougars are considered a public safety threat when they kill pets, act aggressively, or display loss of wariness of people by being seen repeatedly in daytime around permanent structures in areas of human activity.These criteria are further discussed in the state’s Cougar Management Plan.

“At this time, ODFW and Bend Police will just be monitoring the situation, and we hope the cougar will leave the city and the Deschutes River Canyon area on its own,” said Corey Heath, Bend districtwildlife biologist. “Should its behavior escalate, we will have to re-evaluatethe situation and our response.”

Additional trail cameras have been placed in the area to monitor for cougar activity, and representatives from the area housing subdivisions have been notified about the cougar sightings.

Residents of the area are encouraged to review Living with Cougar safety tips at ODFW’s webpage and take steps to reduce conflict,including feeding pets indoors and keeping them in at night.



Michelle Dennehy, (503) 947-6022 / (503) 931-2748,
Adam Baylor, (503) 947-6012,

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