Rash of cougar sightings in downtown Oregon city causing concern

ASHLAND, Ore. — A rash of cougar sightings in Ashland is causing alarm, but state wildlife officials say that because the big cats have all been spotted at night and haven’t attacked anyone, it’s not a public safety concern.

The Daily Tidings reported last week that there had been about six cougar sightings that past week, including near a grocery store, a library, a fire station and a shopping complex.

Steve Niemela, district wildlife biologist with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, says all the sightings except one have involved a cougar feeding on a deer at night. The agency is unsure how many cougars are involved.

Niemela says it would take many sightings of cougars during the day to trigger a public safety concern.

State wildlife officials are working with the Ashland Police Department to monitor the situation.

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