A cougar was spotted at David Brush Memorial Park in Tangent on Tuesday morning, according to Georgia Edwards, Tangent city manager.
A resident who was driving to work spotted the predator at about 10:30 a.m. and reported it immediately, Edwards added.
“It’s not a good thing, because we do have a lot of animals, and people do walk that new pathway quite a bit. We are a little worried,” she said.
The resident reported that it was a young cougar, Edwards said.
She urged residents to stay vigilant and keep their eyes out for cougars. “We would like to know if it’s more than one,” Edwards added. “We’re going to put some posters up of where to report any cougar sightings.”
Those who see a cougar in the area should call the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife at 541-757-4186. The city also has notified the Linn County Sheriff’s Office of the cougar sighting.
The David Brush Memorial Park is a slender “linear” park that runs partially through a new subdivision, from Wildrose Drive to Birdfoot Street, and then in an open field area from Birdfoot Street to Tangent Drive.
The park was completed in late October. “We are very happy for it. We tried for grants for three years. And we put some money of our own into it that the city had set aside for park improvements,” Edwards said.
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The cost of the park was about $65,000. The bulk of that was covered by state funding, but about 25 percent came from the city of Tangent.
There have been plenty of cougar sightings lately in Linn County.
The Sheriff's Office received a report of a cougar in the 200 block of Spaulding in Brownsville at about 10:12 a.m. Sunday. Another resident reported seeing an injured deer nearby. The law enforcement agency passed on this information to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Sweet Home Police Department received at least six reports of cougars in October alone, prompting a community forum last month.
Three weeks ago, a large male cougar was spotted walking on Shingle Mill Road near Snow Peak Road in the Lacomb area, according to the Sheriff's Office.
In October, a number of cougar sightings were reported in a rural residential area of northwest Corvallis, near the spot where one of the big cats was shot and killed by a hunter early that month.
According to officials, the state's cougar numbers are estimated, since the animals are elusive. But the current population is believed to be about 6,400, a considerable rise from the the 1960s, when about 200 cougars were left in the state.