A cougar was sighted around 4:15 p.m. Monday afternoon at the northwest end of Azalea Park near St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church and on the trails where people walk and play disc golf.

Some believe the big cats are coming into town in search of food because their normal turf has been burned in the 2017 Chetco Bar Fire and this year’s Klondike Fire. The Chetco Bar Fire burned 191,125 acres east of Brookings and the Klondike Fire is slowly burning through the woods east and southeast of Agness.

Other areas where cougars have been seen this summer include Harris Beach State Park, where rangers set up a trap in hopes of capturing it; and in the Parkview Avenue area north of town near the airport. The Harris Beach cat could be the same cat as that in the Parkview area, however, as they have a wide range of travel, wildlife officials said.

People are advised to leave the area if a cougar is sighted and be vigilant about the whereabouts and safety of children and pets.

Cougar 411:

• Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity, so leave the animal a way to escape,

• Stay calm and stand your ground,

• Maintain eye contact and back away slowly. Do not turn your back or run; running triggers a chase response,

• Pick up children, but do so without bending down,

• Raise your voice and speak firmly,

• If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands and,

• In the very unusual event that a cougar attacks, fight back with rocks, sticks, bear or pepper spray, tools or other available items.

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