An adult cougar was spotted Monday near the Deschutes River Canyon within Bend city limits, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
A sighting occurred Monday morning and again on a trail camera at about 8:30 p.m.
The cougar is not considered an immediate threat to residents, but fish and wildlife officials and Bend Police are advising people to not use the canyon or Deschutes River Trail system upstream of the Bill Healy Bridge. Residents nearby should feed their pets indoors and keep them inside at night, according to officials.
Signs have been posted, and people are asked to avoid the area as long as the signs remain in place. Additional trail cameras have also been set up in the area.
The cougar was seen in the same general area as one euthanized by wildlife officials in February for being a public safety threat. The cougar is not yet considered a threat, which is why fish and wildlife officials are not actively hunting it, said Michelle Dennehy, an ODFW spokeswoman.
But if the cougar starts killing pets or acting in an aggressive manner toward people, which is a sign it is losing its fear of humans, it would be considered a threat. Officials would track it with hounds, Dennehy said.
“We’re hoping it just moves,” she said.
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