A man said he saw a cougar in the backyard of his house near North Main Street early Thursday, Ashland police reported. The sighting was in the area near the intersection of Central Avenue and North Laurel Street at about 5:30 a.m.

The Oregon Department of Fish and wildlife was notified.

The police reminded the public of ODFW guidelines when encountering a cougar, including: Always leave the animal a way to escape; stay calm and stand your ground; maintain direct eye contact; pick up any children, bud to do so without bending down or turning your back on the cougar; back away slowly (do not run); raise your voice and speak firmly; raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands; if attacked, fight back with rocks, sticks, tools or anything handy.

Sightings of cougars are not uncommon in Ashland, including reports in April 2015 and June 2016 in Lithia Park as reported in the Tidings.