UPDATE: Springfield police have called off their cougar search for the night.
Stay with KEZI 9 News for updates.
UPDATE: With new cougar sightings in Springfield Thursday, police are asking residents to be on alert.
The most recent sighting happened around 3 p.m. in the area of South 41st Street and Filbert Lane, and officers are on scene. Police said they discovered evidence of predatory animal kills and believe the cougar to be responsible.
With children being released from area schools, police asked residents to shelter in place and closely monitor their surroundings until they are able to clear the area.
Officers are out at S. 41st & Filbert Ln w/ ODFW in regards to a cougar sighting at 1436. W/ school release, we are asking that residents shelter in place &/or monitor their surroundings until we clear. We found evidence of predatory animal kills & believe the cougar responsible.
— Springfield PoliceOR (@SPDOregon) October 4, 2018
An earlier sighting was reported at about 12:15 p.m. in the area of South 42nd Street and Cole Way.
To learn more about what to do if you encounter a cougar, click here.
LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Two employees of Swanson Mill Manufacturing in Springfield said they saw a pair of cougars on the edge of the gravel parking lot Wednesday night at 9:30. The lot is near Knife River Corporation property at South F Street and Booth Kelly Road.
The witnesses said one of the cats appeared larger than the other, and police said the pair could be mates or a mother cougar with a juvenile cat. Cougars sometimes stay with their mothers up to 20 months before setting out to establish their own hunting territory.
In Sutherlin, in two unconfirmed sightings, witnesses said they saw a cougar near Sutherlin West Intermediate School.
Wildlife Services searched the area with dogs and found no evidence to confirm the sightings.
RELATED: ODFW ends search for killer cougar
After Thursday’s sighting, the school went into a lock-in to ensure student safety.
Sutherlin School District Superintendent Terry Prestianni said they will remain in lock-in for the remainder of the day Thursday, even though no evidence of a cougar has been found in the area.
Prestianni said they are developing a plan for Friday.
Three other cougar sightings were reported Tuesday and Wednesday in Eugene and Springfield, including a sighting near Mount Vernon Elementary, Douglas Gardens Elementary, Agnes Stewart Middle School and the Oregon Relief Nursery in Springfield -- all areas where children congregate.
Springfield police said predatory cats can be attracted to the sounds of children at play and said parents and supervisors should be vigilant.
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