Aggressive cougar found and killed in Oregon backyard, 250 feet from school, cops say

An aggressive cougar was tracked down to a backyard, where it was killed about 250 feet from an Oregon elementary school, police said.

Police responded to reports of the animal at about 1:15 p.m. April 18 in a neighborhood in Ashland, the city police department said in a Facebook post.

The wild animal had attacked a person’s cat, and other evidence showed it had attacked wild animals and eaten them, police said.

Because the cougar was coming into the neighborhood during the day, attacking pets and acting unafraid of humans, wildlife agencies were called to the area, police said.

“All agencies agreed that the cougar was well beyond the statutory threshold calling for lethal removal of the animal,” police said.

The cougar was found over an hour later in a nearby backyard, about 250 feet from an elementary school, where it was killed by officers, police said.

Its body will now be examined by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Ashland is in southwestern Oregon, near the Oregon-California border.

What to know about cougars

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, pumas and panthers, are solitary, elusive animals, according to the National Park Service. The chances of seeing a cougar are slim, but people can encounter them.

“Typically, mountain lion sightings occur from a distance and usually around dawn or dusk,” park rangers said. “However, lions are unpredictable and can be dangerous.”

If you see a cougar, experts advise you:

  • Don’t approach it: Cougars usually want to avoid confrontation.

  • Don’t run: It could stimulate their chase instincts.

  • Stand tall: Face the cougar and make eye contact.

  • Keep children close: If a cougar is approaching, pick up small children so they don’t panic or run.

  • Don’t crouch or bend over: A cougar could perceive you as prey.

  • Fight back: If a cougar attacks, use rocks, sticks, jackets or anything you can get your hands on to fight back.

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