MEDFORD, Ore. — A cougar was spotted in Bear Creek Park on Friday afternoon, according to the Medford Police Department (MPD), causing a law enforcement response.
MPD said that it received the report just after 1 p.m.
"It was spotted along the east side of the creek near the water, in between the playground structure and the dog park," the agency said.
As a result, several Medford Police officers and Oregon State Police Game troopers resonded to the area, but were unable to find the cougar. MPD said that it would continue to monitor the situation.
"If you encounter a cougar, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has some tips," MPD said. "Call 911 if you have it on view. Give the cougar space and never approach it. Stay calm, face the cougar, step away slowly and do not run. Make yourself appear large by raising your hands if needed. Keep your children and pets close by and never walk alone."
Cougar sightings have become fairly common in Ashland, where wilderness is never far away. But there have been an increasing number of the big cats seen in Medford over the past year.