EMPIRE — Two cougar sightings were reported in the Empire area this week, but neither have been confirmed.

The sightings were reported in the Coos Bay Police logs near Madison School. According to Deputy Chief Chris Chapanar with CBPD, one of the reports in the log was from third-hand information while the other was from “inside her house looking out of a window.”

The World reached out to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which sent out its district wildlife biologist from the Charleston Field Office to investigate these reports.

“We got the information (Thursday) afternoon and took time driving around and looked at the trails to see if we could see evidence of a cougar,” said Stuart Love, ODFW wildlife biologist. “We didn’t find anything. We found evidence of deer, but that’s about it.”

Stuart said in the 17 years he has worked in the area, there has never been a confirmed cougar sighting in town.

“We get cougar sighting reportings quite often but if there was a cougar in the area, it would be uncommon,” he said, adding that when he looks to confirm these reports he searches for tracks and kills that might include a dead deer. “If anyone is ever confronted by a cougar, maintain eye contact with the cat, back away from it and make yourself look large so you don’t look like a prey animal. To do this, if you have a coat on open it and put your arms above your head.”

If you think you see a cougar, call ODFW during business hours at 541-464-2179.

“Don’t call the police unless you think it’s an emergency,” he said. “We appreciate getting calls from the public if they see something along these lines.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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