If you come face-to-face with a cougar

If encountering a cougar, stand your ground

Be prepared to be aggressive, says local conservation officer

  • Sep. 1, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Terry Farrell

Record staff

In light of the cougar encounter experienced by Courtenay resident Cameron Jones earlier this week, local conservation officer, Steve Petrovic, had some advice to pass along to Comox Valley residents.

Although Jones was in the safety of his home for the documented encounter (see http://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/391909441.html), that is not always the case on Vancouver Island. Here are a few basic rules to keep in mind should you come face to face with a cougar.

“The first thing you do is stop; we do not turn our backs and we do not run,” Petrovic said. “We want to make ourselves look big, so we put our arms above our head. If you are of smaller stature, or a child, pick up a stick; if you’re waling with an umbrella, hold it above your head to make yourself look big and menacing.”

Walking in groups is intimidating to cougars.

“If you are walking with a child, pick up the child, so you look bigger. If you are with a group, bunch together so you look like one big mass that the cougar does not want to mess with.”

Stay facing the cougar. If you turn your back on it, it is more likely to pounce.

“You want to maintain visual contact with the cougar at all times,” said Petrovic. “Back away slowly.”

Petrovic added that if the cougar continues to show aggression, don’t back down.

“Be prepared to get aggressive with the cat. Throw sticks, throw rocks, take a very aggressive position. Yell at it, let it know you’re not a prey species, and be prepared to fight.”

Mostly, Petrovic said it’s important that the encounter be reported.

“If there is a cougar exhibiting undesirable behaviour in a populated area, or for example on a popular hiking trail, it’s important that the information is relayed to our conservation office call centre, right away.”

The number to call is 1877-952-7277.

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley students taught to honor Indigenous language

One man’s legacy and one Indigenous language will forever be preserved in… Continue reading

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

Cannabis store proposed for west side of Courtenay

Courtenay Council has approved second reading of a zoning amendment for a… Continue reading

North Island College celebrates 150th bachelor of business administration graduate

The North Island College School of Business marks a milestone in 2019… Continue reading

Former volleyball star runs to kill cancer

Since 2012, Stephanie Kurz has been pushing herself to the limit as… Continue reading

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

BREAKING: Forest fire on North Island disrupts Hwy. 19

Wildfire has reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Most Read