Cougar sightings in residential areas are on the rise in Chilliwack this spring.
A thin, young cougar seen prowling in a residential part of Sardis on Friday morning has prompted a warning from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.
The security footage recorded by a resident on Oliver Crescent picked up the cougar strolling around in Sardis, at about 9:30 a.m. on May 8.
That is “concerning,” said B.C. Conservation Officer (CO) Don Stahl, since it was a block away from an elementary school.
Since April 1, for Chilliwack alone, there were 15 cougar-related calls into the RAPP line (report all poachers and polluters 1-877-952-7277), said the CO.
Out of the 200 cougar calls per year, Stahl said some are actually about people seeing dogs, coyotes, or bobcats — none of which pose the safety concern that cougars can present.
“If a cougar is acting aggressively, or chases someone, call the RCMP, and then call us.”
Because of the vast territory, the CO on duty could be be an hour away or more. Stahl said he covers a territory that ranges from White Rock to Boston Bar.
There were other big cat sightings, including a pair of juvenile cougars roaming on Alma Avenue at Vedder Crossing, and two on Markel Drive on Promontory. On Saturday (May 8), there were reports of a cougar at Vedder and Spruce and another on the Rotary Trail between Hopedale and the rail bridge at 6 a.m.
Read the cougar safety tactics on WildBC and call in any more cougar sightings, the CO recommends.
To report cougars in conflict, sightings in urban areas, or a cougar showing unusual or aggressive behaviour, call the B.C. Conservation Officer Service through the RAPP line 1-877-952-7277.
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