'I think at first it was disbelief': Mountain biker spots cougar - KPTV - FOX 12

'I think at first it was disbelief': Mountain biker spots cougar in SE Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A cougar was spotted at a local park in southeast Portland on Sunday.

FOX 12 spoke with the cyclist who said the encounter left him frozen and on high alert.

While mountain biking in Powell Butte Nature Park Sunday Afternoon, a wild sighting got Kenton Weins' attention.

"About 40 yards in front of me an animal bounded up onto the trail and for 2 or 3 seconds a very good view of his flank and his tail and then he kinda hunched back onto his hind quarters a little bit and bounded on up the embankment on the other side of the trail,” Wiens said.

Even though it was just a few seconds, that's all it took for Kenton to realize he just encountered a cougar.

"I think at first it was disbelief I just stopped the bike sat there frozen for a little bit for a couple of seconds thinking I just can't believe I just saw that,” he said.

Since then, parks and recreation employees have kept their eyes peeled in the park.

They said they haven't seen the cougar, but they do want to warn visitors to be aware and keep kids and pets close.

Signs are now posted but experts said the big cat likely won't stick around the same area for long.

"Typically, these are young animals that don't have an established territory, so they're mobile and I’d be surprised if there's any reports after two weeks,” Retired Ecologist Mart Hughes said.

Hughes is a retired ecologist who has worked at this park for more than 15 years.

He said during his time here, he only remembers one cougar sighting.

Wildlife experts said cougars are normally afraid of humans and to see one in the wild is rare but if you ever find yourself up close one: you'll want to stop, stay calm and make yourself appear as large as possible, and if a cougar attacks then fight back

Some hikers told us they couldn't help but think of the recent cougar attack in Washington where one man was killed and another was hurt

It was a rare tragedy - there's only been one other deadly cougar attack in Washington. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said it's never happened in Oregon.

Meantime, Wiens said even though he saw a cougar out on the trail, it won't stop him from heading out again.

"I’ll keep my eyes open little more, but I have to go and do stuff or it'll make me go crazy,” he said.

The ODWF is aware of this cougar sighting.

They said at this point there are no plans to track down or trap the animal since it hasn't been spotted in populated areas.

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