Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cougar killed after attacking dog leashed outside building - British Columbia

Castlegar News

Cougar put down after killing leashed dog
By Chantal Tranchemontagne - Castlegar News

Published: January 19, 2010 5:00 PM
Updated: January 19, 2010 6:07 PM

A cougar attack has taken the life of a beloved family pet in Castlegar’s Oglow subdivsion.

On the evening of Jan. 13 at 6 p.m., the local Fish and Wildlife service received a call to respond to a cougar attack.

“The residents had their dog on a leash. They went outside and saw that the leash went around the building. When they followed it, they saw the cougar with the dog in its mouth,” said conservation officer Ben Beetlestone.

Sadly, the family’s pet succumbed to his injuries.

C.O. Peter Busink was dispatched to the scene. Along with a houndsman and his dogs, they attempted to track down the animal, to no avail. Beetlestone and the houndsman returned the following morning and were able to find the cougar.

“The dogs treed it and it was destroyed,” he said.

Beetlestone described the animal as a young male who was very emaciated, about 90 lb. A full-size cougar can reach 150-180 lb.

He said the mild winter conditions may have played a large role in the cat entering a residential area.

“They like to go after deer and that’s much easier when there’s lots of snow. The deer fall through the snow and the cougars just stay on top. But because there hasn’t been much of that, he could be desperate to find food,” he explained.

“It could be that or maybe he didn’t learn to hunt from his mother very well.”

While Beetlestone doesn’t want to alarm residents, he does offer up some advice.

“If there are reports of cougar sightings, the public should keep their pets and children inside,” he said.

“If they run into one, they should make themselves as big as possible. They shouldn’t run because that will encourage the predator hunter instinct.”

He also encourages the public to report sightings as soon as possible.

“It doesn’t do much good if we find out two days later.”

Anyone who sees or comes in contact with a cougar can call the 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/castlegarnews/news/82124347.html

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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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