A cougar was seen Sunday night in Prairie City.

Chelsey McDaniel said a friend saw the cat run across North Johnson Street at about 11 pm. McDaniel got her rifle, and they followed the cat’s tracks until they lost them near Cozart Street. She typically buys a cougar tag but said she has never seen one in the wild, despite growing up in the area.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Ryan Torland urges people to call dispatch or ODFW if they see a big cat in town. Cats are often just passing through, but if they remain in populated areas for extended time it can be a problem, he said. Though it is a public safety concern, it’s also a part of living in an area rich in wildlife, Torland said.

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