There has been a cougar sighting here; and actually quite close to our neighbourhood. This is a bit alarming as we have been taking early morning walks in the parks near us. We may have to change our route until it has been either tranquilized and relocated or else have been told via the media that it has been sighted somewhere FAR from here..
“The cougar, also called mountain lion or panther, is Canada’s largest cat. Cougars have long tails which may be one third of their total body length. An adult male cougar weighs between 63 and 90 kg (140-220 lbs) and a female adult cougar weighs between 40 and 50 kg ( 90-120 lbs).
What Cougars Eat:
The cougar’s primary prey is deer. It will also feed on wild sheep, elk, moose, rabbits, beaver, raccoons, grouse, and livestock.
When Are You Most Likely To See A Cougar:
Cougars are most active at dusk and dawn. However, they will roam and hunt at any time of the day or night and in all seasons. During late spring and early summer, one to two year old cougars become independent of their mothers. While attempting to find a home range, these young cougars may roam widely in search of unoccupied territory. This is when cougars are most likely to conflict with humans.
If You Meet A Cougar:
- Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all cougars are unpredictable. Cougars feeding on a kill may be dangerous.
- Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.
- Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice.
- Pick all children up off the ground immediately. Children frighten easily and their rapid movements may provoke an attack.
- Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.
- Do not turn your back on a cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.
- Do all you can to enlarge your image. Do not crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.
If A Cougar Behaves Aggressively:
- Arm yourself with a large stick, throw rocks, speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat not prey.
- If a cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.
Cougars are a vital part of our diverse wildlife. Seeing a cougar should be an exciting and rewarding experience, with you and the cougar coming away unharmed. Most British Columbians will live all their lives without ever seeing a glimpse of a cougar. Conflict between cougars and humans is extremely rare.