PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning outdoor enthusiasts after a cougar reportedly chased a mountain biker along a trail in the Brightwood area of the Mount Hood Corridor on May 31.

“On Wednesday, ODFW received a report of a cougar chasing a mountain biker briefly on the lower portion of the Hide and Seek trail on the Sandy Ridge Trail system,” the ODFW stated on social media.

The Sandy Ridge Trail System. (Bureau of Land Management)

Another mountain biker reported a second cougar sighting near the upper Hide and Seek trail kiosk on June 2. However, the predatory cat did not give chase.

“The cat did not act aggressively but did not immediately leave the area,” ODFW said.

The ODFW has provided the following tips when recreating in big cat country:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. 
  • Leave your dog at home or keep it on a leash. Pets running free may lead a cougar back to you.
  • Hike or bike in groups. Make noise to alert wildlife of your presence.
  • Keep children close to you. Teach them about wildlife.
  • Carry deterrent spray.
  • Be cautious at dusk and dawn.
  • Never feed any wildlife. Prey attracts predators.
  • Do not approach any wildlife; stay at least 100 yards away.
  • Steer clear of baby wildlife. Mother is likely nearby.
  • Be alert when sitting quietly or stopping to rest.
  • Be especially alert at dawn and dusk when cougars are most active.
  • Be aware that animal calls and animal kills can attract a cougar.

If you encounter a cougar, ODFW says to do the following:

  • Cougars often will retreat if given the opportunity. Leave the animal a way to escape.
  • Stay calm and stand your ground.
  • Maintain direct eye contact.
  • Pick up children but do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar.
  • Back away slowly.
  • Do not run or ride quickly away. Running or riding away can trigger 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. Keep your bike between you and the cougar.
  • If in the very unusual event that a cougar attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, bear or pepper spray, tools or any items available.

Officials ask people to report sightings or aggressive behavior to a land manager, ODFW or to call 911 if it’s an emergency.