No one likes to see a cougar put down.
Hunting is one thing. But having to kill a wild animal because it’s just out there doing what animals do?
It’s also part of living on VanIsle. VanIsle has one of the densest cougar populations in the whole world.
Conservation officers had to kill a young cougar this week in Port Alice. The cougar had already killed a cat in the neighbourhood. It would have killed some chickens if their owner hadn’t thrown a hammer at the cougar to make it go away.
Then the cougar showed up in someone’s carport with a dog in its mouth.
Scary stuff, right?
Just minutes before, Keeper, the dog, had been in his backyard on a leash with his owner. But, according to the owner’s granddaughter, the cougar was hiding in the ivy and pounced before the owner could get Keeper out of harm’s way.
That was the last straw.
The Campbell River Conservation Office was called in to help. They brought in the search hounds. It wasn’t long before they’d shot the cougar.
Mike Newton is a sergeant for the North Island zone. He told Vancouver Island Free Daily that once a cougar starts hunting farm animals and pets, they start to be a real threat.
This was a young cougar, too. When young cougars start to hunt on their own, they make a lot of mistakes. They can miss their kills and get too hungry to be careful.
“Young up and coming cougars have a tough time finding their own territory, which means they often fall into trouble by ending up in town and close to people,” Newton said.
There are reports of a second cougar in the area, possibly this one’s mother. If you see it, you can report it to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.