Here at News Lincoln County we’re getting increasing reports of Cougars lurking around the coast in greater numbers than normal. We’ve heard that domestic and feral cats are disappearing, along with small and not so small dogs. There is also the issue of cougars following deer in to areas where people live.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife strongly urge residents to keep their domestic animals inside from dusk to well after dawn.
Wildlife experts say if you’re out walking near dusk, make sure others are with you. If you encounter a cougar (you’ll know one when you see one) everyone should raise their arms in the air – look big – stare directly at the animal and walk (don’t run) backwards away from the animal. Make lots of noise. Yell like hell. Don’t take your eye off the animal. It’s a stare contest. If you look away, even for a second, the cougar may think you’re afraid and charge you. If there’s only one way out of an area allow the cougar to escape easily. When you’re safely out of the confrontation area get on the phone and call 9-1-1 and tell the dispatcher what you just experienced. Give them a clear description of where you were when you saw the animal and a description of it – how long, how tall, what color(s) and any unusual markings.
But again, prevention is the best strategy. Travel in bright daylight – avoid dusk or nighttime hours. Travel at least in pairs or in a small group. Avoid taking children and pets. And something with gunpowder in it might also be a good idea.