The Ashland Police Department reported Monday that it had received a message that a cougar was seen in Lithia Park near the swimming reservoir. The cougar was chasing a deer.
Notices of the sighting have been posted in Lithia Park. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offer these guidelines for anyone who encounters a cougar:
- Leave the animal a way to escape. Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity.
- 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 can trigger a chase response in cougars and 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, tools or any items available.
State wildlife officials note that there have been no reports of a cougar attacking a human in Oregon in more than 100 years.