LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. - Lake Oswego police and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are on alert after several people reported seeing a cougar near a Lake Oswego school.
The sightings were "in the last several days" near Lakeridge Junior High School, near the intersection of Jean Road and Southwest Central Avenue, according to police.
Police are working with ODFW to determine if there is a cougar near the school. The department is also working with the Lake Oswego School District to notify school parents about the sightings and provide instructions.
Police ask anyone who has seen what they believe is a cougar in that area recently to call 503-635-0238. Anyone who sees a cougar should call 911, police said.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says to follow these tips if you spot 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, tools or any items available.