Cougar makes its presence felt in Jacksonville

Bruce Garrett figures that if humans continue encroaching on a cougar's natural habitat then there's bound to be some too-close-for-comfort encounters.

Garrett, 65, said he wasn't nervous Friday night while walking his lumbering Newfounland named Kaydin near the 700 block of D Street in Jacksonville.

The pair were near the spot where a half-eaten deer believed to have fallen victim to a cougar was discovered Thursday.

Jacksonville police have peppered the area with flyers warning neighbors that a cougar has chosen the area as a hunting ground.

Jacksonville police Officer Gary Rose said some neighbors have expressed worry that a cougar had come into town for a meal.

"Some people have told us that they are nervous to walk around at night," Rose said.

Rose said the deer was found in the field near a tennis court at the end of D Street.The area serves as a park and popular dog-walking area.

Garrett said his neighbors don't seem disturbed by the cougar's presence in town.

"A lot of them know that if you choose to live in this area, then you will have things like cougars and bears to deal with sometimes," he said. "It's just part of where we live."

Rose said the deer was removed from the area and disposed of soon after it was discovered.

It is unclear how large the cougar is and whether it will stick around for another deer dinner.

Like many Rogue Valley towns, deer are a common sight in the streets of Jacksonville.

"As more people move in where deer naturally live, then there's bound to be some overlap," Garrett said.

Rose assured the neighborhood that the chances of a cougar developing a taste for people is rare.

"Oregon State Police said that there hasn't been a cougar attack on a person in something like 30 years," he said.

When asked if Garrett felt safe in the company of his massive, though incredibly laidback, Newfoundland, he laughed.

"I'd probably have to end up protecting him from a cougar," Garrett said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or email

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