Police respond to cougar sighting near SW Portland park

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland police officers responded to a reported cougar sighting in Southwest Portland's Pendleton Park Wednesday morning.

Officers were called to the neighborhood near 6030 S.W. 55th Drive just before 9 a.m. after someone called 911 and said they saw a large cougar in the area.

Police put nearby Hayhurst School into lockdown as a precaution.

Officers searched the area, but did not find a cougar. Police said they spoke with several neighbors and one person said a cougar had been in the area for the past several days.

The school lockdown was lifted.

While there have been no other reported cougar sightings, police want community members to be aware of the possible sighting. They encourage anyone who sees a cougar to immediately call 9-1-1. Do not approach it.

What to do if you encounter a cougar

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has some tips to remember about cougars:

Stop - Never approach a cougar at any time for any reason.

Stay calm - Face the cougar and do not turn your back towards it. Do not run. Running encourages it to chase.

Appear large - Make yourself look large. Do not bend over or crouch down. Raise your hands. Hold your coat open. Hold small children.

Fight back - Fight back if attacked.

Make noise - Make noise while hiking to reduce the chance of surprising a cougar.

Keep children close - Always keep children close by and in sight.

Avoid walking alone

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