Another cougar sighting has been recorded in northwestern Ontario.
A short cell phone video taken on December 19 near the community of Wabaseemoong, north of Kenora, shows one of the feral cats running down a snowy road and leaping through the woods.
The cougar’s long tail and tawny fur are clearly visible when running. The video was shot by Noreen McDonald, who was in a truck with her partner Martin Carpenter driving on Sand Lake Road.
The couple had gone to get firewood when they ran into the cat.
Cougar was only a few yards from the truck
Carpenter said at one point he was only yards from his truck before he hit the road.
“I recognized right away that it was a cougar in the front of my truck,” he said. “I was driving on the right side and the cougar was on the left side.”
Carpenter said the animal started running, and that’s when McDonald picked up the phone and registered the animal.
âIt was a little shaking because she was a little shocked when she saw the cougar,â he said. “Even that night, I could barely sleep after seeing him.”
Carpenter said he had lived in the area for 47 years and had never seen a cougar before.
Gary Wheeler, spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Conservation and Parks, said in an emailed statement that the cat in the video appears to be a cougar and that “provincial staff have been there. where the video was taken and found cougar tracks “.
Cougars are an elusive species
âCougars are an elusive and extremely rare species in Ontario,â he said. “However, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks is aware of sightings in northwestern Ontario. Small amounts of physical evidence (approximately 24 records), including feces, traces and DNA confirm the presence of free-range cougars in parts of Ontario. “
Cougars are elusive in the northwest, but sightings have become more frequent in recent years.
In March 2017, a dead cougar was found on the side of a bush road northwest of Thunder Bay. This was the first confirmed wild cougar carcass recorded in Ontario.
In December 2020, and then again last January, cougars were recorded on various surveillance cameras outside of Thunder Bay.
Cougars are endangered in Ontario and have been listed as endangered since 2008. As an endangered species, they enjoy protections under the Endangered Species Act.