Reported sightings of cougars are on the rise, especially on social media. (Spencer Lindskoog - Facebook image)

Cougar sightings on the rise in Okanagan

More reports of seeing large wild cats over last year

More cougars are roaming the region this year.

Sightings of the large wild cats have increased this year over last, according to Conservation Officers.

“This year seems to be slightly higher than others for sightings,” said CO Tanner Beck. “I wouldn’t say it’s a record year.”

Wayne Andre recently spotted a large cat roaming near his home neighbouring BX Elementary school.

“It passes through my backyard and I’ve seen the fresh tracks and only seen it on my game cam once at night,” said Andre.

See: Cougar scares Girl Guide selling cookies in Vernon neighbourhood

Another possible cougar sighting took place on Upland Drive in Coldstream Sunday, March 17.

Spencer Lindskoog captured a photo of what is believed to be a cougar across the road in front of his house.

“Wish I got a picture five seconds earlier,” he posted on Facebook. “I couldn’t believe my eyes.

While many are surprised to see these large cats roaming the neighbourhoods, it is not uncommon.

“I used to live on Scenic Drive as a kid and even 20 years ago we would have cougar sightings in that area every year,” said Brittany Paulson.

Beck agrees.

“In all reality, there’s been cougars there lots,” he said of not just this, but the many areas where cougars are spotted.

“This happens every single year, this time of year,” said Beck.

Unfortunately, a number of unofficial reports of cougar sightings are being made via social media.

As an example, it was recently reported that a large cat was sleeping on the back deck of a BX resident. Yet, Beck said the closest report to that is that cougar tracks have been spotted on a deck.

“We don’t get the information,” said Beck. “People are hearing things.”

Those who have personally spotted a cougar are urged to report their sightings, versus second or third parties making the call.

Beck would also like to clarify the Conservation Office’s protocol on destroying cougars.

See: Cougars attack Cherryille dogs, killing one

“We don’t wait until they attack,” he said. “We base it on the behaviour of the cat. But we can’t go killing cougars just because they are here.”

Behaviour that would warrant action includes any interest in people and if a cougar is spotting during the day time walking through a neighbourhood. The predatory killing of livestock and pets is also what COs look for.

Families are reminded to have cougar safety talks with their children and keep an eye on them in their yards. Kids who walk to the bus stop in semi-rural areas should do so in groups versus alone.

“They’re always around so people should be doing (these things) all the time.”

The good news is, with spring upon us, it is likely that the deer will be able to retreat to the hills for food. And the cougars will follow.

“When their food disperses, then the cougars also disperse.”


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Second cannabis store in the works for Revelstoke

City Council approved a development variance permit for Revelsmoke Aug. 13

No public comments on Mackenzie Village development agreement amendments

Revelstoke City Council held a public hearing and heard one written comment and none in-person

Author of Emily Carr books coming to speak in Revelstoke

Laurie Carter will be at the Revelstoke library on Sept. 26

Photos: Railway Days at Revelstoke Railway Museum 2019

Today was Railway Days at the Revelstoke Railway Museum. There was food,… Continue reading

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read