PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating a possible cougar sighting at Powell Butte this week.
Christine Hayden says she’s surprised by what she saw while visiting the popular southeast Portland park with her dog and says it has definitely made her more aware of safety.
Hayden says she was out for a run with her dog at Powell Butte, like she does most mornings. But this time, Hayden’s adrenaline kicked in to the max.
“Once I saw it hit the trail and jump off the trail and just pause, I realized it was a cougar,” Hayden said. “I just knew I had to get out of there.”
Hayden says the cougar wasn’t looking in her direction, but she didn’t stick around to see if the animal saw her. Hayden says she is shocked that she came so close to a possible cougar.
“I’m up here all the time, and occasionally I see deer, and I see a coyote, I just never believed there were cougars up here,” Hayden said.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says since Hayden’s possible sighting, there have been cameras installed around the park to check for activity, but so far, there have been no confirmed sightings.
Powell Butte is known for wildlife. Just this June, there was another report of a cougar at the park.
Hayden is sharing her story so everyone stays safe and says it has made her more aware of what she might encounter at the park.
“I’m going to carry a whistle, and I’ll have my pepper spray and always have my dog with me,” Hayden said. “But yeah, I’m definitely going to keep my head up.”
If you ever find yourself up close to a cougar, officials say to stop, stay calm, and make yourself as large as possible. They say you should wave your arms, act aggressive, and yell. If a cougar attacks, fight back.
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