(File photo)

ODFW, Bend Police searching for cougar seen in backyards

(File Photo)

Bend, Ore. — Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Bend Police are trying to track down a cougar in southwest Bend after repeated sightings of it in backyards and near people’s homes.

The agencies say the cougar is considered a public safety threat due to the repeated sightings near homes. The sightings have been in the Deschutes River Canyon. According to ODFW the cougar will be euthanized if it is found.

If you encounter a cougar, ODFW provides these tips:

  • Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity. Leave the animal a way to escape.
  • Stay calm and stand your ground.
  • Maintain direct eye contact.
  • Pick up children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar.
  • Back away slowly.
  • Do not run. Running triggers a chase 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, bear or pepper spray, tools or any items available.

The agencies ask that any cougar sightings in the Bend area be reported to Bend Police.

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