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Awbrey Butte cougar sighting prompts warning to public


A cougar sighting on Bend’s Awbrey Butte early Wednesday morning has prompted the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to post signs and warn residents to be on the lookout.

Corey Heath, ODFW biologist for the Deschutes District, told NewsChannel 21 they received the call from a homeowner who lives on Northwest Farewell Drive.

Heath said the homeowner spotted the cougar on the property around midnight, trying to attack a deer, but the person quickly scared it away.

The cougar and the deer both took off, Heath said.

Officials visited the property and confirmed it was a cougar by the size of the tracks. They believe the cougar is about a year old and may still be in the area or went back into the forest.

ODFW staff posted several signs at mailboxes around Farewell Drive to warn people to be on alert.

“If you are used to walking dogs, going for a jog, things like that after dark, you might be extra alert up there or change your behaviors a little bit right now, knowing there is a cat in the area, or there was one in the area,” Heath said.

He said this is the first recently reported sighting of a cougar on Awbrey Butte.

If you encounter a cougar, officials say to stay calm, do not run and try to appear larger than the cougar.

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