Wildlife officials believe the cougar is younger and has been venturing into Deschutes River Woods for food and new territory. They said shooting the cat is the most humane way to kill it. Also, using this method, the cougar's body can be preserved for educational uses.
This was the second cougar sighting in Deschutes River Woods Wednesday night, the first was just before dark, by a resident on Choctaw Road.
Deputies and wildlife experts are urging people in the area to be alert and aware, especially near dusk and dawn.
Late last Friday, a deputy shot at and believed they may have wounded a cougar in DRW, but the animal ran away.
Experts say it's uncommon for cougars to be so visible on several occasions in one area over a short period of time.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a news release Thursday afternoon about the situation and their advice:
ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services are working to trap a cougar that has been seen multiple times in the Deschutes River Woods neighborhood in south Bend over the past several weeks.
The young cougar is considered a human safety risk because it has been seen repeatedly in a residential area during daylight hours. In keeping with ODFW policies, once trapped, the cougar will be euthanized.
Last night, the cougar killed a deer in the back lot of a home in the neighborhood. ODFW has set up a cage (or live) trap using the deer kill as bait, as the cougar may return to its kill.
Last week (evening of May 6), Deschutes County law enforcement deputies shot at the cougar but it is not clear if the animal was hit. The cougar was seen last night about 10 p.m. and did not show signs of being injured.
Cougar sightings are not uncommon in the neighborhood, which is an outlying subdivision with forests and deer that give cougars cover and prey. ODFW believes the cougar is spending most of its time along the Deschutes River corridor and coming into the subdivision to hunt.
Residents in the area are reminded of safety precautions to take:
? Be aware of any wildlife corridors or places where deer or elk concentrate; cougars could be there too.
? Keep pets indoors at dawn and dusk. Shelter them for the night.
? Feed pets indoors.
? Be more cautious at dawn and dusk when cougars are most active.
No person has ever been attacked by a cougar in Oregon and encounters are very rare. But should you encounter a cougar:
? Leave the animal a way to escape. Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity.
? 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.