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Cougar tracks found near SW Bend school, parents advised


Cougar tracks were found this week along the Deschutes River canyon in southwest Bend, prompting the posting of warning signs and a notice sent to parents by nearby Pine Ridge Elementary School.

Bend police Lt. Jason Maniscalco said a local representative of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that cougar tracks were located along the rim adjacent to River Canyon Estates, as well as in the backyard of a home in the area.

The cougar was believed to have been in the area between late Monday and early Tuesday, he said.

Officials have notified area schools as well as homeowner associations in the immediate area. They also posted swarning signs in the neighborhoods and along the river rim and river trail areas.

ODFW officials will continue to monitor the area for signs of the cougar, Maniscalco said. People with questions or concerns regarding cougars were advised to visit ODFW’s “Living with Cougars” web page.

The following notice was sent to parents of students at Pine Ridge Elementary:

Dear Pine Ridge Families,

Today we received word from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that a cougar was confirmed to be present in the Deschutes River canyon near River Canyon Estates on the night of Feb. 4 or the morning of Feb. 5. Notices about this sighting have been posted to affected trails.

Based on guidance from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife representatives, our school continued to hold recess and regular outdoor activities.

ODFW representatives recommend for children to avoid going into the canyon area without adults present and encourage children who are walking to and from school to stay in neighborhoods and walk together.

I am sharing a link that will give you some ideas for a teachable moment, if you want to talk to your children about cougars and other wild animals. Living with Cougars – ODFW

For more information, contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 541-388-6363.

Students’ safety is always a priority for us and we thank you for your continued support of Pine Ridge Elementary School.


Rochelle Williams

Pine Ridge Principal

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