A large feral feline has been frequenting Jeff Michaud’s Shuswap property.
Michaud said on Monday, Dec. 5, that a large cougar had appeared in the backyard of his Eagle Bay residence three days in a row. The appearances set off his motion-activated security camera, which has captured the animal as it walks by.
“The first time we saw it, we couldn’t really believe it,” said Michaud. “It is a pretty incredible animal… It’s majestic.”
Despite being impressed by the cougar, Michaud wants to let people know it’s in the area near Wild Rose Community Park.
“That’s pretty close to residential houses down there and he is living there now,” said Michaud, who has also contacted the Conservation Officer Service (COS).
“I think the public should be made aware because that is a big animal.”
For cougar sightings in residential areas, the COS and the B.C. government advise the following:
• Remain calm… Keep away from the cougar and tell others to do the same. Bring children and pets inside until the cougar has left.
• Feed pets indoors or, if fed outdoors, bring in any uneaten food as the smell of pet food may attract cougars in addition to the pets (potential prey) themselves.
• Keep your pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range can become easy targets. Light walkways and remove any heavy vegetation or landscaping near the house.
• Store garbage in cans with tight-fitting lids so odours do not attract small mammals. Avoid feeding wildlife or landscaping with shrubs and plants that deer prefer to eat.
• Phone the COS Call Centre, 1-877-952-7277, if you suspect that a cougar is hanging around in a residential neighbourhood or killing pets. If the cougar becomes threatening or aggressive towards people, phone the call centre.
• Determine if the cougar has been attracted to the location or is in the locale as a result of poorly managed attractants (pets, backyard chickens, etc.) being present.
Cougars are not to be fed. It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to feed dangerous wildlife.
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