LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- After three cougar sightings in Lane County in two days, law enforcement officials are asking residents to be on alert in the neighborhoods affected.
Wednesday morning, a cougar was spotted near Mount Vernon Elementary, Douglas Gardens Elementary, Agnes Stewart Middle School and the Oregon Relief Nursery in Springfield -- all areas where children congregate.
The driver who spotted the cougar, who is a bow-hunter familiar with large cats, said it crossed the road and entered a field that separates the Oregon Relief Nursery and Mount Vernon Elementary School.
Springfield police said predatory cats can be attracted to the sounds of children at play and said parents and supervisors should be vigilant.
The first sighting happened around noon Tuesday close to Lane Community College. The animal was reported by a water tank near Oak Hill School on 30th Avenue.
About nine hours after that sighting, there was another cougar reported in Springfield. Around 9 p.m. a man living around South 43rd and Daisy streets said he let his dog outside, and his dog began to bark. That's when the man said he noticed a cougar in the bed of his pickup truck. The animal wasn't spotted again after leaving the truck bed.
A Community Emergency Notification System (CENS) alert was sent out to residents in the area following the sightings.
Check back for updates as this story develops.