Police respond to another cougar sighting in SE Portland, woman says dog was attacked

Treed cougar in the Sled Springs Unit, Oregon (ODFW file photo/2008)

Portland Police Bureau is warning the public about another cougar sighting in Southeast Portland Thursday morning.

A woman told officers she believes a cougar attacked her small dog in her yard around 2:15 a.m.

"She darted off to the side of the yard barking," said Misty Martin, the poodle's owner. "Then she started yelping. So, I immediately ran outside and I think scared it away."

Police responded to the home near Southeast 118th Avenue and Southeast Division Street just after 3 a.m.

The dog is expected to survive.

The cougar was last seen going toward Southeast Powell Boulevard.

This is the second cougar sighting in the same area this week. In mid-June there was a cougar sighting in nearby Powell Butte.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says there's been a 20 percent increase in the cougar population statewide this decade.

"We've still never had a cougar in the wild attack a person in Oregon, yet," said Rick Swart with ODFW.

Police recommend people keep small pets indoors and say don’t leave pet food outside.

Police say the yard where the dog was in had small pet rabbits in it, which might have attracted the cougar.

Swart says cougar sightings are about three times more likely to happen during the early summer compared to the winter.

Part of that is because the days are longer and people are more active, increasing the chances of human run-ins with wildlife.

But that's not the only reason, as young cougars are going out on their own for the first time.

"They've been in the den all spring, they're coming outside now and they're looking for mice and squirrels and rabbits," Swart said.

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