HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Officials re-opened the Jackson Bottom Preserve trail Friday afternoon, one day after closing it after three separate sightings of a cougar.
The City of Hillsboro investigated and asked the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for help. A search of the area, including the use of scent-tracking dogs, found no trace of a cougar.
New signs were posted in the area.
On Monday, a Jackson Bottom trail user reported seeing a cougar on the East side of the preserve which closed the trails that day.
Thursday, filbert farmer Stan Hayes encountered a cougar in his Hillsboro orchard near the Jackson Bottom Preserve.
Hayes said the cougar was roughly 35 feet away from him. At first, he heard the big cat coming up behind him and mistook it for his tenant.
“I turned and looked and it was a cat, a pretty good sized cat, a golden retriever and then a half size bigger,” he said.
“He looked at me and I looked at him we looked at each other for about 15 seconds,” said Hayes. After that, the cat turned and walked away.
“He gave me one more turn around and one more look as he waked away very arrogantly but so majestically.” Hayes went on to describe the cat as “very elegant, very majestic and very calculated.”