Cougar traps were set in an area in Rutland near Sylvania Crescent and Leathead Road, not far from Ben Lee Park, after a large cat got a little too close for comfort.
The animal has been sighted in the area several times in recent days, but its latest attempts to find dinner prompted the BC Conservation Officer Service to act.
A man posted a photo of a cougar in his backyard to a Rutland Facebook group on Sunday morning.
“Most sightings are mostly nocturnal, but yesterday afternoon we had a late afternoon daytime sighting,” conservation officer Ken Owens said. “And then last night this morning the cat tried to attack a dog in someone’s backyard … It didn’t work because people protected the dog, making sure it didn’t. not happen. “
Owens says a second similar incident was also reported.
âSo the message going forward is that people really need to protect their pets in their backyards,â he said. âMake sure they bring them in and don’t leave them out in their backyards, especially in this particular neighborhood. “
Owens says part of the problem is that people fed feral cats in the neighborhood, which created an easy food source for the cougars.
âThere are a lot of feral cats in this particular areaâ¦ we’ve had incidents where people are feeding feral cats in the neighborhood and kind of causing a bit of this problem,â Owens said.
Another concern is the kids coming out for candy or a spell tonight. Owens says it’s important to keep wildlife safety in mind on Sunday night outings.
âHave groups, security in numbers,â he said. âHave space and distance if you see a cat. [cougars] do not compromise public safety. Their main source of food is deer.
Owens is not disclosing the exact location where the live trap was set.
The BC Conservation Officer Service has provided the following information to people who encounter a cougar:
STOP – Pick up all small children immediately. Do not run. Sudden movement can cause an attack. Try to slowly move away from the cougar. SPACE and DISTANCE. Never approach a cougar for any reason, especially if it is a kill or with kittens. Cougars will normally avoid a confrontation. Always give a cougar a way to escape. Prepare to use your bear spray.
KEEP CALM – Talk to the cougar in a confident voice. Maintain eye contact with the cougar. Don’t turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and stay upright.
LOOK BIG – Make yourself look taller than the cougar. Do not bend or squat. Raise your hands and hold your coat open. Move to higher ground if you are nearby. Throw sticks, stones, branches or other objects if they are within reach.
BE PREPARED – bear spray, noise generator and walking stick; these can be used for protection in the event of an encounter. Cougars can be attracted to dogs. It is therefore preferable to have your dog at home. If you are traveling with a dog, keep it close by and on a leash at all times. Take a cell phone with you to call for help if you have a problem.
If a puma behaves aggressively
If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively. Maintain eye contact, show your teeth, and make loud noises. Arm yourself with stones or sticks as weapons. When picking up items, crouch as little as possible. Prepare to use your bear spray.
If a Cougar Attacks FIGHT – Convince the Cougar that you are a threat, not prey. Many people survived cougar attacks by retaliating using anything including stones, sticks, bare fists, and fishing rods. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes. If you’re knocked down, get up. NEVER PLAY DEATH with a cougar.
The Conservation Officer Service reminds the public, when they see a cougar or are the victim of depredation of pets or livestock, the importance of immediately calling the 24/7 call center. 7 from the Conservation Officer Service, toll-free line Report all poachers and polluters (RAPP) at 1-877-952-7277, call cell # 7277 or online at www.rapp.bc.ca.