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Signs warning Sandy residents to proceed with caution remain posted in the area of 362nd Drive near Tickle Creek Trail after a resident reported encountering a cougar while walking his dog on the trail around 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 27.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE -      Signs warning Sandy residents to proceed with caution remain posted in the area of 362nd Drive near Tickle Creek Trail after a resident reported encountering a cougar while walking his dog on the trail around 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 27.

Doug Kitchen, assistant wildlife biologist with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife visited the area on May 28, posted signs and looked for traces of the wildcat after the report to Oregon State Police. He didn't find any additional evidence of a cougar on his visit.

"We do get cougars who travel through territory — especially a lot of younger ones looking for a territory to claim," Kitchen told The Post, adding that they become problematic only "if we get a cat we're seeing there (in a residential area) on a regular basis … showing aggression toward humans and/or causing depredation to pets and livestock."

If a cougar has habituated and no longer fears humans it can become a danger to human safety and department personnel would likely euthanize the cat.

At this point, Kitchen said there have been no additional reports of cougar sightings in the area, but he reminds people to remain cautious and alert.

The department recommends taking the following actions if you encounter a cougar:

• Allow the cat to retreat if it tries.

• Stand your ground calmly.

• Don't break eye contact.

• Don't run, but back away slowly.

• Make yourself large and make noise if the cat gets aggressive.

• Fight back if attacked.


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