ASHLAND, Ore — Ashland Police are asking people to be on the lookout after three cougars were spotted on Southern Oregon University’s campus in the last 24 hours.
With the three sightings from Sunday night and Monday morning, the Ashland Police Department said that makes a total of seven or eight cougar sightings in the city in 10 days.
SOU student Charles Palmer saw one cougar on campus Monday morning.
“It’s not really surprising to me, but I can see how it is surprising to other students here on campus,” said Palmer.
Two more cougars were spotted around SOU’s Hannon Library Sunday night. Police scared away one young cat, but the larger one wasn’t afraid.
“That’s when we need to consider taking action against the animal,” Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara said about making the decision to shoot down the cougar, but the officer’s shot missed the cat.
Chief O’Meara says while residents shouldn’t be too concerned, they should still exercise caution.
“I think that they should be aware. I wouldn’t characterize it as be concerned and I certainly don’t think anybody needs to be leery about going outside,” O’Meara said.
Wild animals like deer, cougars and bears aren’t altogether unusual in the city. Earlier this summer one cougar was spotted near the city’s library attacking a deer.
Police say if you see a cougar you shouldn’t run, make yourself look big, pick up children or pets and be loud to scare it away.
Both police and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also ask that you report any sightings.