Possible cougar sighting in SW Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

911 caller reports cougar near OHSU: 'It's kind of creepy'

Posted: Updated: March 26, 2013 10:27 PM

A safety warning is out from Portland police and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife after two people said they saw a cougar near the Oregon Health & Science University campus Tuesday afternoon.

Bicyclists, runners, doctors and students are all things you'd expect to see atop Marquam Hill in SW Portland.

But a cougar?

"It's pretty scary!" OHSU student Penny Li said.

Here's a portion of the 911 call:

Caller: We're up at the Doernbecher Hospital, and there's a cougar like 20 yards from us that just took off.

Dispatch: Okay. It's not attacking or anything like that?

Caller: No, but it's still there, and we're in Portland. It's kind of creepy.

When police arrived, they were not able to find the large cat. Wildlife officials say they don't have evidence of a cougar in the area. They haven't found any tracks, and no one managed to get picture proof. But it doesn't mean the cat wasn't here.

People in the area said it's a good idea to take extra precautions, especially since the potential sighting happened in a high-traffic area.

"A lot of people hike and run on these trails, so yeah," student Jeremy Woods said.

Here are some safety tips from wildlife officials:

Never approach a cougar.

If you see one, stay calm, face it, and don't turn your back towards it or run. Instead, make yourself appear large. Raise your hands, and hold your coat open.

Make plenty of noise, and fight back if attacked.

Avoid walking alone, and keep children close.

Police say there have been no other reported sightings.

Wildlife officials say if there are, the state will take more aggressive action because it's a sign the cougar is sticking around and not just moving through the area.

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