Tails Of The City: Seen Any Wild Critters In PDX Lately?

Earlier this week, a cougar was spotted prancing through the streets of Silverton- northeast of Salem. The big cat walked right up to a house, freaking the resident out.

I seem to recall an incident with a cougar taking a pet dog from a residence at the edge of Forest Park. I believe that occurred in 1997.

Last summer I saw a coyote while driving on Cornell near Forest Park.

The creature was beautiful. Could have been a coydog (coyote-dog cross).

Wait, there’s more.

In the summer of 1999 or 2000, a 5:30 a..m. walk produced a scene of two adult raccoons followed by four kits. This was in a busy urban environment at NW 23rd near Everett. I have to say the raccoons were walking more orderly than some street-crossers with their heads buried in their cellphones.

But now that we are approaching summer (yay), we’d love to hear about any wild animal sightings you’ve seen in the metro area.

Sorry, four legged (or more) creatures only, and the Oregon Zoo doesn’t count.

12 Comments so far

  1. Melissa (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 8:05 am

    Too bad you are only counting 4 legged creatures. On my bike ride in past Oaks Bottom I regularly count more than 20 (TWENTY!) blue herons fishing in the pond there. I also passed three different pairs of geese with their sweet fuzzy gosslings. Now if only we could do something about the over abundance of feral cats that are fed regularly along that path.

    Of the natural four legged variety my coworker spotted a river otter yesterday while crossing the Broadway Bridge on his bike.

    If you aren’t counting birds then I wouldn’t count raccoons. We have permanent residents in the big trees in front and in back of our house. They regularly terrorize our cat and are always trying to eat the neighbor’s chickens. I have video footage of a mama rac trying to move her two babies to a safe location (our tree was occupied) in the middle of the day with pedestrians, bicycles, and cars whizzing by.

    I love our creature filled city!


  2. warner (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 9:41 am

    I have been seeing a lot more squirrels on downtown streets lately. One just about got squished right in front of me the other day. Sometimes I see them in areas where there are no trees close by. I wonder if all the contsruction is getting them confused?


  3. Laura (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 11:59 am

    I frequently see coyotes in the West Hills.


  4. Orygunner (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

    I live on the east side close-in to downtown and we definitely have a fair number of raccoons around here. Seen them chomping on the food the local cat lady leaves out, and one of them left an impression of their foot in wet cement just outside my door. I’ve seen them walking around in broad daylight and they definitely didn’t seem scared of me.

    I saw a squished possum in the road near where I live, but never seen a live one around here. We do have a surplus of squirrels though.

    I saw what looked to be a nutria swimming upstream while I was crossing the Morrison Bridge a few months ago. And last week I went paddling in the Willamette and a guy on the shore near Sellwood Bridge said he had just seen a sea lion swimming upstream (probably getting a salmon lunch at the falls). I didn’t see any sea lions, but there were lots of little fish jumping out of the water (maybe juvenile salmon heading downstream?). I’ve seen osprey fishing for carp around Ross Island, but didn’t see any last week.


  5. Jennifer (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    There are frequently nutria in the marshy area between Red Robin and Vancouver Mall. Brown and white ones. Also saw a mama duck and 4 or 5 ducklings crossing the street in our neighborhood a couple of days ago, I guess they don’t count, but I’d never seen them this close to our house before. Lots of squirels, racoons and possums near my parents (also in Vancouver). To see a live possum look at night.


  6. Jennifer (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

    There are frequently nutria in the marshy area between Red Robin and Vancouver Mall. Brown and white ones. Also saw a mama duck and 4 or 5 ducklings crossing the street in our neighborhood a couple of days ago, I guess they don’t count, but I’d never seen them this close to our house before. Lots of squirels, racoons and possums near my parents (also in Vancouver). To see a live possum look at night. Also rabbits in the heights area, our lab used to give the bunnies heart attacks and leave them on the back step.


  7. warner (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    And let’s not forget that beaver that was walking the off ramp from I-5 to 217 recently. Gently captured and released back into the “wild”, meaning the grassy area between the ramps.


  8. Lady (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

    At lunch I saw a spiffy racoon wandering through the outdoor tables of a NW restaurant with an apparently dead rat in it’s mouth. Very confident racoon. No fear of the humans, and no interest in the same. Clearly on a mission of sustenance.


  9. Kirsten (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 12:45 am

    There’s a possum bigger than all of you at Granada Court!


  10. rrpiper (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 1:28 am

    It’s been awhile, but a few years back I was riding Leif Erikson Trail and passed a coyote. It was off to the side, about to head down one of the spur trails. It stopped, turned its head to look at me, definitely a coyote, as I rode by and turned my head to look at it. Pretty cool.


  11. Django (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 6:15 am

    As the full moon rose in the east last fall, we saw a coyote holding court in the meadow at the intersection of Holcomb and Wildwood trails in Forest Park. A few weeks later, a much younger coyote was heading south on Wildwood just north of that point. His coat glistened in the sun. Our party of two with two dogs decided to make an advance to the rear. His park and we were the encroachers.


  12. Lelo (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

    I’ve seen coyotes in the early AM on the golf course on N. Columbia near the airport. Made me do a double take! And, of course, the amazing blue herons along the Columbia Slough…it’s nice to see more and more of them there.



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