Cougar

Cougar

Rash of cougar sightings in and around Courtenay this week

Lancaster Park, Marsden Road among areas reported

  • Mar. 18, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

The Conservation Officer Service received a number of calls about cougar sightings in the Comox Valley and Campbell River on Wednesday, March 16.

In Comox, shortly before 4 p.m., a person spotted a cougar behind the duck pond in a swampy area at Lancaster Park near the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald roads. Police attended until COs arrived.

An RCMP helicopter that happened to be on a return trip assisted by performing a couple of circles. They spotted an orange domestic cat entering the swamp area. A CO with tracking hounds searched the area.

“Because of the house cat being in there it kind of contaminated the scene so we couldn’t do a thorough search with the hound,” North Island CO Gord Gudbranson said. “A cougar’s scent is the same as a house cat’s scent to a cougar dog.”

Officers could not locate the cougar by foot searches in the swamps or by a perimeter search of the area. They posted warning signs before leaving.

Later, around 9:20 p.m., a cougar was seen within 500 metres of the first sighting, near the water tower by Back Road.

“Somebody was walking on the path in that area and saw a cougar slinking around,” Gudbranson said. “Probably was the same cougar escaping and getting back to the green belt area of Back Road.”

Cougars were also seen at Marsden Road on the west side of Courtenay and on the north side of the Puntledge River by the Browns River confluence. There were also a couple of sightings in Campbell River.

“Spring has sprung,” Gudbranson said. “Most of the time they’re moving around in different areas. They’re searching for food in and amongst those greenbelt areas. Wherever you see a deer you can see a cougar typically. That’s their main food source.”

But they also eat rabbits, raccoons, waterfowl, game birds and small birds, he notes.

Gudbranson urges the public to keep pets on a leash to prevent them from chasing wildlife and then “bringing danger back to them.

“We’ve had people that have had their dogs off leash, and their dog’s gone off chasing a bear and then guess what comes back to them?”

He notes does with fawns will appear in late-April and May.

“We don’t want unnecessary stress placed on them as well,” Gudbranson said. “That’s just a common thing. If you’re out in the bush, have your dogs on a leash and under control at all times.”

The public is asked to call in cougar sightings at the RAPP line (Report all Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information, visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos

 

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

Just Posted

A donated towel warms a merlin chick. Photo supplied
MARS Moment: 2021 shaping up to be a record-setting year for animal rescues

Submitted by Jane Sproull Thomson Special to Black Press With the pandemic,… Continue reading

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
19 Wing Comox crew involved in three-tonne cocaine seizure worth more than $3 million

12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron involved in Op Caribbe

File photo of Gord Johns during World Oceans Day.
Courtenay-Alberni MP outlines priorities for federal budget

Universal pharmacare, affordable housing and Pacific wild salmon are some of the… Continue reading

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Volunteers sort through bottles and cans during Saturday's fundraiser for hospice. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley hospice holds drive-through bottle drive

Bike team is fundraising for the annual Cycle of Life tour on Vancouver Island

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

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

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

Most Read