Two reported cougar sightings in Ashland parks

The Ashland Parks and Recreation department received reports of two cougar sightings Wednesday, June 22.

The first sighting took place at 4 a.m. in Lithia Park when a park employee spotted what he described as a large adult cougar, said Don Robertson, Ashland Parks and Recreation director. The cougar ran off soon after being seen.

"It was a close encounter of the cougar-kind," said Robertson.

Later in the morning about 10:30 a.m., citizens at North Mountain Park reported seeing a cougar described as small and younger looking. People at the park were collected and relocated to a nearby building. Officials contacted police, but the cougar was gone by the time they arrived.

"We don't know if it's the same cougar or not; they have a very large range," Robertson said.

Notices of the sightings have been posted in Lithia Park and North Mountain Park.

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