Incident: Cougar Sighting
Location: Thurston Park @ 747 64th Street, Springfield
Incident Number: 20-031553
Date/Time: 02-03-20 @ 11:23 p.m.
More Information: Sgt. George Crolly
Completed By: Sgt. Brian Humphreys
NARRATIVE OF INCIDENT:
On 02-03-20 at 1123 p.m. two citizens reported seeing a cougar in the area of 747 64th Street, Thurston Park. The couple was walking on the bike path when they heard a high pitched chirp, followed by a loud growl coming from the tree line. The caller initially ran from the area taking shelter near the playground structure while notifying police. The caller reported last seeing the cougar walking westward along the fence line. Several Springfield police officers extensively searched the area but were unable to locate the cougar. There had been a cougar sighting in the 6500 block of ‘E’ Street the previous evening at about the same time when a resident reported seeing a cougar in their back yard. Residents are advised to use caution when travelling in this area.
The Oregon Department of Wildlife recommends the following if you encounter a cougar:
- Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity. Leave the animal a way to escape.
- 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 triggers a chase response in cougars, which 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, bear or pepper spray, tools, or any items available.