There have been multiple sightings of a cougar in the Promontory area of Chilliwack in recent days. (WildSafe BC photo)

Promontory residents warned to keep pets inside after several cougar sightings

WildSafe BC offers tips on avoiding conflicts with wildlife

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) is monitoring the Promontory area after several reports of cougar sightings were received in recent days.

A statement issued by WildSafe BC on July 10 warned that pets should be kept indoors and children should be monitored while paying outside.

A cougar spotted by homes on Cedar Creek Drive on Promontory recently.

More than one neighbour said a cougar has been spotted near homes on Cedarcreek Drive. One was a week ago and another just yesterday.

“Avoid walking alone at dusk and dawn when cougars are most active,” the statement said. “While cougar attacks are rare, pets and small children are most at risk. Cougar attacks often involve young cougars learning to hunt or older cougars that are less efficient at catching their primary prey.”

WildSafe BC works to prevent human conflict with wildlife, and is run by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation.

Anyone who encounters a cougar should stay calm and make themselves look as large as possible while backing away slowly. Running or turning away from a cougar are bad ideas. Small children and pets should be picked up immediately.

In the rare case that a cougar responds aggressively, WildSafe BC recommends responding aggressively. In the event of an attack, people are urged to fight back focusing on the animal’s eyes.

Any cougar sightings should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Cougars are elusive and wide-ranging animals. More tips on reducing conflict and mitigating risks from WildSafe BC include:

• Keep pets indoors, especially at night. Free-ranging cats and dogs may be at risk;

• Feed pets indoors;

• Take down bird feeders. Fallen seeds from bird feeders may attract rodents and other mammals, and subsequently attract cougars;

• Use properly installed and maintained electric fencing to protect chickens, small livestock or other attractants;

• Store all animal feed securely and keep feeding areas clean;

• Never feed deer or other wildlife that may be potential prey for cougars.

For more information on cougar safety and reducing conflicts, refer to the WildSafeBC website. Bear spray can also be used as a deterrent and information on the safe use and transport can be found at wildsafebc.com/bear-spray.

• RELATED: Cougar spotted on Squiala within Chilliwack city limits

• RELATED: Mother hailed as hero in Vancouver Island cougar attack


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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