Big cat on Microsoft campus (and it's not a Snow Leopard)

There have been multiple sightings of a big cat, presumed to be a cougar, prowling around Microsoft's Redmond campus. Whilst the reports are yet to be confirmed, there were two spottings in as many days by Microsoft employees at the end of last week, in the area between Buildings 30 to 35.

The first sighting was reported to Redmond Police by Microsoft security at 10:15 on Thursday morning, according to The Seattle Times. However, at 13:38 security then also reported that a coyote has been seen by an officer near Building 30, so the police assumed it was the same animal that had been incorrectly recognised by the first witness. A second sighting on Friday brought the issue back to light.

Whilst it may not be the only big cat on their mind at the moment with the recent release of Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard update, Microsoft has sent a memo to employees giving them advice on what to do if they encounter the phantom cougar. TechFlash got hold of the message:

For the second day, Global Security has received an unconfirmed report of a possible cougar sighting, this time near building 32.

Microsoft Security will conduct frequent patrols of all wooded areas of the campus, and will work with the State Department of Fish & Wildlife and other experts to assess the situation and provide further updates, as appropriate. In the meantime, we ask that all employees exercise appropriate caution, particularly in remote or wooded areas of campus.

If you meet a cougar:

  • Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all cougars are unpredictable. Cougars feeding on a kill may be dangerous.
  • Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.
  • Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice.
  • Pick all children up off the ground immediately. Children frighten easily and their rapid movements may provoke an attack.
  • Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack. Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.
  • Do all you can to enlarge your image. Don't crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.

So if you're on the Redmond campus over the next few days, or until the cougar is caught, don't forget to "face the cougar" and talk to it "in a confident voice" - show it who's boss!

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