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Cougar reportedly seen on Jacksonville Forest Park trail

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – Police are issuing a warning after a cougar was reportedly spotted on a southern Oregon trail.

The Jacksonville Police Department said on Monday morning, they received a report of a cougar sighting on Sofie’s Trail in the western part of the Jacksonville Forest Park. The park extends north and west of the Jacksonville city limits.

According to officers, the hiker who reported the sighting used an airhorn to scare the Cougar away.

“Remember,” police said, “If you are hiking alone, always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.”

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has the following guidelines when encountering a cougar:

Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity. Always leave the animal a way to escape. Stay calm and stand your ground. Maintain direct eye contact. Pick up any children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar. Back away slowly. Do not run. Running triggers a 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. If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, garden tools or any other items available.

For more information, you can view the entire flyer at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/docs/CougarBroch.pdf

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