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)

COs find and destroy predatory cougar in Comox

Animal presumed to be same one that killed housecat on Saturday

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has had to put down a cougar on the prowl in a residential area of Comox 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

Karilyn, right, with her older sister, Sabrina. Both siblings are members of the YANA family, after being helped by the community organization on separate occasions. Photo supplied
Siblings both members of the YANA family

Comox Valley non-profit helped Geiger family on separate occasions

A second-floor balcony continues to smoulder after a fire extinguisher was used to get a small balcony fire under control at the Washington Inn Apartments. Brian Hayward, who lives on the third floor, was alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke wafting into his apartment. Photo by Brian Hayward.
Courtenay firefighters respond to balcony fire at Washington Inn Apartments

Firefighters were called out to the Washington Inn Apartments Sunday, April 17,… Continue reading

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

This photo shows crews battling the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Six fortunate to escape terrifying early-morning fire in Greater Victoria

Damage to the duplex extensive with one resident said to be ‘catatonic’ after escaping building

Most Read