Conservation officers found and destroyed a cougar that had been prowling around Comox in recent days. (WildSafe BC photo)

Conservation officers found and destroyed a cougar that had been prowling around Comox in recent days. (WildSafe BC photo)

Island COs find and destroy predatory cougar near residential area

Animal presumed to be same one that killed housecat in Comox neighbourhood

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has had to put down a cougar on the prowl in a residential area of a Vancouver Island community on Wednesday morning.

It is believed to be the same animal that killed a house cat at the front door of a house in Comox on the weekend.

Conservation officer James Hilgemann told the Comox Valley Record that his colleague, conservation officer Steve Petrovcic, searched for the adult cougar Wednesday morning with dogs and found it. The animal had to be destroyed.

They believe it to be the same cougar looming near homes in Comox on the weekend and that killed a house cat. A woman posted on Facebook Saturday that the animal pounced on her 18-year-old house cat at her front door at an Anderton Road home. She ran out and threw rocks at the animal, which stayed nearby for two hours. Police attended the scene with guns drawn but were not able to shoot the animal.

“On Saturday it came fairly close to houses and did kill a house cat,” Hilgemann said. “On Sunday we ran into it on Perry Place, which is close by in the area.”

RELATED STORY: Cougar seen near Courtenay middle school

RELATED STORY: Cougar shot and killed on Vancouver Island

Another person reported the animal was seen Wednesday morning after it ran out from the bushes by mailboxes in an area close to where children catch a school bus.

While this part of Comox is residential, Hilgemann said, there is also an abundance of hobby farms nearby.

“It’s a good habitat for cougars, but our goal is to protect people first,” he said.

There is no indication garbage was left in the area to attract the cougar. Pet owners living in zones close to the wilderness are reminded to be careful when it comes to wild animals.

“People leave their cats and dogs outside and leave the safety of their houses, and unfortunately they become part of the food chain,” he said. “A few days ago a hobby farm nearby lost some chickens [to the cougar] and it was never reported. The area is full of hobby farms and deer, and that’s a perfect area for the these animals…. Hopefully [capturing this cougar] will put people’s minds at ease.”

Province-wide, according to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service website, the number of calls regarding cougars this time of year has dropped slightly since the beginning of the decade. For October 2018, the number was 240, up from just over 200 the previous two years, but down from the first half of the decade when the total ranged between 270 to more than 300. The same pattern holds for November, as there have been about 20-30 fewer calls in recent years compared with the first few years of the decade.

Cougar interactions

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service website includes guidelines on how to deal with a cougar interaction:

  • Stay calm and keep the cougar in view; pick up children immediately. Children frighten easily and the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack. Back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape.
  • Make yourself look as large as possible and keep the cougar in front of you at all times. Never run or turn your back on a cougar; sudden movement may provoke an attack.
  • If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively, maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noises. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons.
  • If a cougar attacks, fight back, convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey and use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray or personal belongings as weapons.

(With files from Erin Haluschak)



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
RDN Transit has sights set on busing to Cowichan Valley by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in the budget

Parking decals for motorcycles owned by riders with disabilities are now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Motorcycle decals now available in Nanaimo for disabled riders

Limited number of decals now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre

Ceramic artist Teresa Dorey with some of the pieces from her upcoming exhibition, ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Ceramic artist explores ideas around empathy and touch in Nanaimo exhibition

Montreal’s Teresa Dorey presents ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Multi-disciplinary Snuneymuxw artist named ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Most Read