Cougar sighting! Non-figurative cougar sighting near Oregon Health and Science University!
The Portland Police Bureau just sent out the following press release (pasted below). Gather your children and pets.
UPDATE, 5:40 pm: We love an animal story here at Blogtown, so we hit the phones on this cougar sighting.
Our questions: Is the apocryphal cat some crazy outlier, unheard of in or around Forest Park? Mightn't it have implications—moral and pragmatic—for the way we should treat our wild lands? Shouldn't we all be going insane about this?
According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Rick Swart: Nope.
"There are a lot of cougars in Oregon, and they show up just about anywhere," Swart said. "Especially if there's a forested area around."
Still. Gather your kids.
News Release from: Portland Police Bureau
PORTLAND POLICE RESPOND TO POSSIBLE COUGAR SIGHTING IN SOUTHWEST PORTLAND
Posted: March 26th, 2013 4:10 PM
Today, Tuesday March 26, 2013, at approximately 2:00 p.m., Portland Police officers assigned to Central Precinct responded to the area of Southwest Sam Jackson Park Road and 10th Avenue on the report of a cougar in the neighborhood.
Officers contacted the caller who reported seeing a large animal with a 2' curled tail behind a residence in the 3300 block of Southwest 10th Avenue. The caller and another person reported to police that they are hunters and are familiar with cougars. Officers checked the area but could not confirm the presence of a cougar.
The neighborhood where the possible cougar sighting occurred is directly above Oregon Health Science University, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the Shriners Hospital for Children, and the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center. This neighborhood is next to Marquam Nature Park and not far from Washington Park.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has some tips to remember about cougars: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/cougars.asp
ODFW advises the following if you encounter a cougar:
STOP - Never approach a cougar at any time for any reason.
STAY CALM - Face the cougar and do not turn your back towards it. Do not run. Running encourages it to chase.
APPEAR LARGE - Make yourself look large. Do not bend over or crouch down. Raise your hands. Hold your coat open. Hold small children.
FIGHT BACK - Fight back if attacked.
MAKE NOISE - Make noise while hiking to reduce the chance of surprising a cougar.
KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE - Always keep children close by and in sight.
AVOID WALKING ALONE
While there have been no other reported cougar sightings, the Portland Police Bureau would like community members to be aware of the possible sighting and encourages anyone seeing a cougar not to approach it but to immediately call 9-1-1.