For the third time in less than a week, a cougar has been spotted near a Central Oregon neighborhood, prompting renewed warnings from law enforcement and wildlife officials.
A cougar was spotted from a home near Agate Road in Deschutes River Woods about 9:15 a.m. Saturday, according to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Sgt. Deke DeMars. Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the lava flow area near the home to search for the cougar, which was seen bedding down in bushes. Although the area was searched extensively, the cougar was not found, DeMars said.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials were notified, DeMars said.
On Monday, a cougar was spotted twice in the nearby Deschutes River Canyon neighborhood in Bend. Although the cougar was not considered a threat, fish and wildlife officials and Bend Police advised people to not use the canyon or Deschutes River Trail system upstream of the Bill Healy Bridge.
On Friday, a Redmond resident caught a cougar with the resident’s dog in its mouth outside a home in the 4600 block of SW Elkhorn Avenue. Because the alleged incident took place a block away from Ridgeview High School, the school was put on a temporary lockout for students’ safety. That cougar also was not found.
DeMars said anyone who encounters a cougar should not run, but move slowly and keep the animal in view.
“Additionally, should you locate a dead animal carcass do not disturb it, especially if you believe the animal to be a cougar kill,” he said. “If there are confirmed cougar sightings in your area do not walk your dogs at night in that area.”
Outside lighting should remain on near livestock and children and pets should be supervised when outside, he said.
— Bulletin staff report