Ashland enjoys a very close geographic and personal relationship with the wilderness and its wildlife; that interface is one of the benefits of living in Ashland. Residing in a wildlife interface means that we all interact with animals every day. Most days it is likely that residents and visitors will come into contact with deer and other common wildlife. Less frequently, however, bear and mountain lion can also be seen in some developed areas, including parks and residential neighborhoods near wild land.
Within the past few days, a mature mountain lion has been spotted multiple times in areas near and within Lithia Park. The animal has appeared in locations where deer frequent in Lithia Park and neighborhoods close by. We do not feel that there is an immediate danger to public posed by the recent presence of this animal. Lithia Park and all trails and their tributaries remain open and postings of recent wildlife encounters will be located at trail heads and areas where wildlife, including this mountain lion, have been spotted recently.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that there is no record in Oregon of a mountain lion ever attacking a human being.
We are publishing this PSA as a reminder that we all live and recreate within a wildlife interface and we should be prepared in the event that we do encounter an animal such as a mountain lion.
When mountain lion sightings occur, it is advised that pets or domestic animals should not roam freely. Do not leave pet food outside your residence.
In the event of anyone spotting a dead animal in the park, leave the area immediately and contact the Ashland Police Department at 541.482.5211 and APRC at 541.488.5340. Both numbers are monitored 24 hours each day. Dead animals should not be touched or moved in any way.
If confronted by a mountain lion, a person should:
- Stay calm
- Make themselves appear large
- Pick up any small children and hold them
- Fight back if attacked.
It is advised that hikers avoid walking alone and that they make noise while hiking to reduce the chance of surprising a mountain lion. For more information please contact the APRC Director, Michael A. Black, at 541.488.5340.