A reported cougar sighting by a passing motorist late Sunday night in Deschutes River Woods, south of Bend, sparked a fruitless search and a reminder to the public of some basic safety tips.

Deschutes County sheriff's deputies were dispatched around 11 p.m. to the intersection of Baker Road and Riverwoods Circle regarding the cougar sighting, said Sergeant Kevin Dizney.

"An extensive area check was conducted but the cougar was not located," Dizney said.

The sheriff's office offered up these reminders to the community.

"Do not disturb dead animal carcasses especially if you believe the animal may be a cougar kill.

"If there are confirmed cougar sightings in your area such as this, do not walk your dogs at night in the area.

"It is recommended that residents keep outside lighting in the areas where livestock is present to help deter cougar attacks. Supervise children and pets that are outside." "There are many residential areas inside Deschutes County near rural settings in which wildlife is prevalent," Dizney wrote.

"If and when a member of the community comes into contact with wildlife such as a cougar, do not run, but move slowly, keeping the animal in view as you move away from the area," the sergeant said.

"If there is a perceived danger to the community, please notify law enforcement as soon as possible," he concluded.

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