State wildlife officials are warning people to keep an eye out for cougars near Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center after one of the big cats was sighted near the Corvallis hospital last week.
Oregon Department of Wildlife officials posted warning signs on walking paths near the hospital after a woman walking her dog saw a mountain lion chasing a deer through a patch of woods about 8:30 Thursday morning, according to ODFW wildlife biologist Nancy Taylor. The deer was able to elude the predator, she added.
The sighting occurred near the northeast corner of the Good Samaritan grounds, between Highway 99W and the hospital.
Another cougar sighting was reported off Mountain View Drive north of Lewisburg Avenue about 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Taylor added.
Taylor said neither sighting is cause for alarm, but area residents should be on the lookout for cougars when outdoors, especially near the edge of town, and should keep pets in secure locations from an hour before dark to an hour after sunrise.
She pointed out that both the hospital campus and Mountain View Drive are close to large areas of undeveloped land, including Jackson-Frazier Wetland and Owens Farm. “It’s not that unusual” to see a mountain lion in that part of Corvallis, she said.
ODFW says people who encounter a cougar should stay calm, resist the urge to run, make themselves look as large as possible, make noise, and fight back if attacked. The agency also urges people not to walk or run alone and to keep children close when recreating in areas where cougars may be present.
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