The Conservation Officer Service says two cougars were destroyed in Roberts Creek on January 5th.

Andrew Anaka of the Conservation Officer Service says three cougars had been spotted in the area recently. He says there were several complaints about the animals, starting with a sighting, then reports of the cougars following people on a trail, chasing horses and finally killing chickens in a barn.

The cougars are likely in urban areas because they are chasing deer, which are concentrated in town at the moment due to the snow. “Often times cougars don’t differentiate between a raccoon, and a small dog, a chicken, a goat, it’s all food to them” says Anaka.

British Columbia does not relocate cougars so the two juveniles were destroyed, however the mother was allowed to live. The theory is that the burden of having to feed the kittens is taken away from the mother, and she is more likely to move away from town, knowing that her young were destroyed. “She’s more valuable to the population than the kittens are, she can reproduce again in a few months, few weeks” says Anaka. “We’re hoping that she’ll move off on her own now and find something to eat further away from people”.

To reduce the risk of conflicts with cougars, keep pets indoors when you can, and make sure you supervise them or keep them on a lease when outside. You should also supervise children when outside. When cougars do attack (although rare) it is often children, due to the way kids play, are small and have high pitch voices.

If you do see a cougar never turn your back or run, but seek shelter and remember not to panic.

Filed under: Animals, BC, Conservation Officer Service, Cougar, Roberts Creek, Sunshine Coast, Wildlife