School navigation

The Source

Cougar Sightings On Campus

August 23, 2019

Dear Lewis & Clark community,

In the past few weeks, there have been multiple cougar sightings on or near our campuses, including another possible sighting on the undergraduate campus earlier this week. These sightings are in line with increased sightings of cougars in the broader metropolitan area.

To ensure our community members and guests are aware of this development, and per Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife protocols and guidance on living with wildlife, the college is in the process of posting signs in the areas of the sightings, greenspace access points, and along the wooded perimeter of the undergraduate, graduate, and law campuses. 

If you see a cougar on campus, call Campus Safety: 503-768-7777.

Cougar attacks on people are very rare. However, if you encounter a cougar, you should:
  • Stay calm and stand your ground.
  • Maintain direct eye contact.
  • Pick up any children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar.
  • Back away slowly.
  • Do not run. Running triggers a chase response in cougars, which could lead to an attack.
  • Raise your voice and speak firmly.
  • If the cougar seems aggressive, raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands.
  • If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or any other items available.

Thank you for staying aware and alert of your environment as you enjoy this remarkable campus.