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Photo shows cougar prowling neighborhood; schools send out notice

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Photo shows cougar prowling Troutdale neighborhood; schools send out notice (Permission to use photo via Erika in Troutdale)

A resident of the Sweetbriar neighborhood in Troutdale snapped a photo of what appears to be a decent sized cougar lurking through the lawn of a home across the street.

Another nearby homeowner told KATU News that the schools in the area sent a notice to parents about recent large cat sightings. School officials have not confirmed this independently. The photo was taken by Mariella Marquez in a yard near Sweetbriar Elementary School.

"I was actually kind of scared," she said. "I was like, what if it tries to come through the window, what if it goes through the door or something? Yeah, it was scary."

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office confirmed they received a call Sunday morning about a large cat spotted making its way through a Troutdale neighborhood, but deputies were unable to track anything down.

Neighbor Margaret Allison said she's keeping her cat indoors to stay safe, especially while police searched the neighborhood for the big cat Friday morning.

"They were all looking up into the trees, looking down. So we're assuming they were looking up to where they had seen the cougar, and there must be tracks... he's wandering around," Allison said.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State Police are investigating the sighting as well. Any new sightings of the cougar should be reported to ODFW or local law enforcement.

If you run into a cougar, don't run away -- it may think you're prey and go after you. You should make yourself as big as you can and be as loud as you can, so you scare it away.

Staff at Sweetbrier Elementary School have been carrying walkie talkies all week when they're out with the kids.

"They've got them in a covered area so they have more control over them, normally [they're in a bigger area]," Debbie Jensen who works at the school said.