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Cougar sightings reported

DALLAS — Multiple cougar sightings have been reported in Dallas near the neighbors of Southeast Godsey and Fir Villa roads in recent weeks, the last one on Wednesday.

December 10, 2013

DALLAS — Multiple cougar sightings have been reported in Dallas near the neighbors of Southeast Godsey and Fir Villa roads in recent weeks, the last one on Wednesday.

The most recent sightings have been close to Whitworth Elementary School and Dallas High School properties, so notifications have been sent to parents.

"If you live in this area and your student walks or rides the bus, please take the precautions you believe are appropriate for your child and your situation," said Christy Perry, Dallas superintendent, in a statement to parents.

The city of Dallas is working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on options regarding the cougars.

The following are tips from ODFW about what to do if you encounter a cougar:

• Leave a cougar a way to escape and often it will retreat.

• Stay calm, stand your ground and maintain direct eye contact.

• Pick up children, but do so without bending down or turning your back.

• Back away slowly, but don't run. A cougar may chase or attack you if you run.

• Raise your voice and speak firmly.

• Make yourself look larger and clap your hands.

• If a cougar does attack, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or anything else available.

Residents who observe cougars in close proximity to residential areas of the city are encouraged to call the Dallas Police Department, 503-831-3516.