As of Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Three Hood River men reported a rare cougar sighting inside Hood River city limits early Sunday.
The cougar, an apparent adult cat, was seen crossing Pacific Avenue near 12th Street at about 1:30 a.m. by Evan McClure, John Enos and Andrew Culp.
Cougar sighting in Hood River
A cougar is sighted on the Heights in Hood River near Rosauers in the early morning of July 26, 2015.
“We were really surprised, and followed it behind Rosauers,” said McClure, 22. “At first we thought it was a coyote but then we saw it had a really long tail and we knew it was a cougar.” McClure shot a 10-second video of the cougar as it runs behind the store, hits a chain link fence and then jumps over.
The trio did not see it after that, though they did try following it in the adjoining neighborhood.
Enos called Hood River Police and Sgt. Don Cheli and Officer Andy Frasier looked through the area but did not see the cougar. Police chief Neal Holste said his department received no other reports.
Bear and cougar have been detected on the Heights near housing areas on isolated occasions in recent years, including within a few blocks of May Street School. Cougar sightings are more frequent on the east side of the Hood River. Holste noted that the Indian Creek forest corridor, just below where the cougar was seen, is more easily accessed from the east due to the low water in the Hood River.
“A cougar could cross and only get its feet wet,” Holste said.
Holste noted that anyone seeing a cougar or other wildlife should keep their distance.