TROUTDALE, Ore. -- A cougar was spotted Sunday near Sweetbriar Elementary School in Troutdale.
There have been no sightings since, according to an Oregon State Trooper who has been patrolling the area all week, looking for the big wild cat.
The trooper said he wasn’t sure if it is a male or female, but that is it certainly full grown. And if it is still in the area, it could be a threat to people.
That includes children at nearby school. Children were out playing on Friday, but the school district says it has extra eyes on them right now. They plan to notify parents in a newsletter.
As for the picture that’s now getting a lot of attention, it was taken by Mariela Marquez. Her father first spotted it Sunday morning, prowling through their property. Mariela took the picture from the safety of the front living room, through the window. It had crossed Southeast Evans Street..
“When I first saw it I was pretty surprised, I mean that’s something you think you’d see at the zoo not like in your back yard or front yard. When someone walked by we tried to get them in. But yeah, it was pretty scary,” said Marquez.
After she took the picture the cougar jumped the neighbor’s front fence with ease, and was gone.
What to do if you encounter a cougar
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says there are no documented cases of a cougar attacking a human in Oregon. ODFW suggests the following actions if you come face-to-face with a cougar:
• Stay calm and stand your ground.
• Maintain direct eye contact.
• Back away slowly. Do not run. Running triggers a chase response.
• Raise your voice and speak firmly.
• Teach children and other family members how to react if they see a cougar, i.e., make themselves look as big as possible; yell, throw rocks and ensure the cougar does not feel welcome.
• If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to look bigger and clap your hands.
• If a cougar attacks, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or any items available.