Whistler Olympic bobcat puts on a show
Vancouver Sun and Agence France-PresseFebruary 10, 2010
WHISTLER — Can we call him the newest Winter Olympic mascot? At least one wild bobcat is making some noise by popping up in the most public places around Whistler.
On Wednesday, the wild cat crossed the finish line during the first official training for the men's Olympic downhill at Whistler Creek.
That follows reports two days ago of Games officials being confronted with reports of a wild animal on the loose at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
Sgt. Chris Doyle of the Conservation Officer Service said officers called to the downhill course tracked the bobcat away from the venue.
"Bobcats are quite common around Whistler," he said. "Usually they're doing their own thing, not interacting with people."
Doyle said the animals are usually not a threat to people, and in the case of Wednesday's sighting, the biggest risk may have been a skier striking the animal while racing down the course.
On Monday at the Whistler Sliding Centre, there was a similar bobcat sighting reported to the RCMP.
"We received a call that there was a wild animal sighting in the upper start area," John Gibson, the venue press manager, said Monday.
A local conservation officer was called to the site who decided there was no security threat and no need to stop the session.
Whistler's Sliding Centre is no stranger to the small animal, which has been spotted prowling the perimeter of the track in the past.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org