Cougars take up residence in Nanaimo park

NANAIMO - City issues warning about family of cougars living in Woodstream Park near Departure Bay.

Warning signs have been posted around Woodstream Park in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay neighbourhood where a family of cougars has taken up residence.

Al Britton, city manager of parks operations, said the city received word about the cougars early last week after a woman who was walking her dog spotted a large male cougar on Deerborne Place.

“This cougar was  walking up Deerborne Place,” Britton said. “Lady turned around and took her dog in.”

The woman reported she can hear the cats calling at night, but has never seen other cougars.

“But did see what she considered to be a big male walking up there, so what we’ve done is we’ve got signage posted, ‘Beware of cougars in area’,” Britton said.

Special attention is being paid to the lower part of the park which has a trail children use to go to Departure Bay Elementary School. Warnings have been sent to school district and also posted on social media.

He said conservation officers are aware of the cougars. There have been several sightings in the area throughout the year, but there is little more that can be done about the cats.

“They like the deer,” Britton said. “There’s so much deer there it’s very easy for them to get food.”