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Cougar sightings rise in Springfield

People in Springfield are on high alert after yet another cougar sighting in the area, making it the seventh since this Tuesday.

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 7:23 PM
Updated: Oct 5, 2018 7:32 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – People in Springfield are on high alert after yet another cougar sighting in the area, making it the seventh since Tuesday.

The cougars have been spotted in southern Springfield near homes and schools, as well as by Lane Community College's campus.

Katie Blankenship lives along South 34th Place in Springfield.

She said her 7-year-old son was playing in a tree in their backyard at around 7 p.m. Thursday night when he started running and screaming into their home claiming he saw a large cougar in the next door neighbor’s yard.

"The minute he hit the house, he was screaming and shaking,” Blankenship said. “That's when he was like, 'Mom there was one in the neighbor's yard and it completely jumped the fence, I watched it, it was so big!' It's kind of hard because I did want to run outside but I also knew there was a safety factor. That's right next door, it could easily turn and come right back here."

Blankenship said that she is feeling uneasy knowing there are cougars in her neighborhood. But said she is less worried because of the effort from local authorities.

"They're doing a really good job at protecting that kids around this area because every day I have to take kids in different directions and there's been a ton of police out on the streets and then the schools are doing a really good job having a lot of personnel out on the roads,” said Blankenship.

KEZI spoke with Heather Cox, whose backyard the cougar was spotted in. Cox said she was at home of the time of the sighting but said she didn't see or hear anything.

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