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Jogger kicks cougar during encounter in Oregon forest

The aggressive cougar followed the man through Dunn Forest as he ran away, but it was spooked by hikers with a dog.

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A jogger running through a forest near Corvallis encountered an aggressive cougar and reportedly kicked the cat before trying to run away on Saturday, Oregon wildlife officials said.

Michelle Dennehy with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the cougar followed the man as he ran through the forest, but hikers with a dog came around a corner, prompting it to flee, according to a report in the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

No one was hurt.

Dunn Forest, located north of Corvallis and operated by the Oregon State University College of Forestry, is closed while wildlife officials search for the cougar.

Dennehy confirmed to KGW that officials plan to kill the cougar because its aggressive behavior toward humans is dangerous.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says Oregon is home to more than 6,600 cougars.

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What to do if you encounter a cougar

  • 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. Running triggers 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.
  • 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.

MORE: What to do if you see a cougar in the wild