Published: July 28, 2009 5:00 PM
Updated: July 29, 2009 8:32 AM
TSULQUATE – A cougar was shot July 25, after it was spotted eating a cat in a backyard, said Port Hardy Conservation Officer Tim Schumacher.
The cougar sighting was reported the evening of July 25 after a resident of Tsulquate Reserve saw a cougar eating a neighbour's cat.
"The owner of the cat shot the cougar with a pellet gun at close range," said Schumacher.
Fearing the cougar was injured, and posed a danger to the community, cougar hounds and their handler were called in to track the cougar.
It hadn't travelled far and was located in about 20 minutes, said Schumacher.
"We located and shot the cougar," said Schumacher, to protect the public. "The area is populated with children and there have been recent pet-cougar encounters."
The cougar was a juvenile male and appeared to be in good health, said Schumacher.
The Conservation Office Service offers the following advice on cougar encounters.
* Bring pets in at night. Roaming pets are easy prey.
* Do not feed pets outside.
* Hike in groups, make noise and carry a stick.
* Watch for cougar tracks and signs.
* Do not approach or pick up a cougar kitten.
If you meet a cougar:
* Never approach a cougar.
* Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.
* Stay calm and talk to the cougar in a confident voice.
* Pick all children up off the ground immediately.
* Do not run.
* Do not turn your back on the cougar.
* Face the cougar, remain upright and try to enlarge your image.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org