A cougar was destroyed in Squamish last week after stalking mountain bikers, killing chickens and confronting residents.
“Last Tuesday evening (June 24), there was a cougar that encountered hikers and bikers on Jack’s Trail near Alice Lake,” said conservation officer Chris Doyle. “The next day, it followed some mountain bikers for a few hundred metres on Mashiter Trail near Garibaldi Highlands. There was no other call until Friday, when a cougar had went to someone’s residence on Ring Creek Road and killed a couple chickens and confronted their dog and the people at the residence. It wouldn’t leave, so I found the cougar and destroyed it.”
A mature female, the cougar was in rough condition. Doyle figures hunger drove it down from the mountains and influenced its behaviour. Ordinarily, cougars are private and secretive. While there are regular sightings in the corridor, confrontations are less common.
“If you encounter a cougar on a trail, what you never want to do is turn your back or lie down,” said Doyle. “You want to face the cougar, make yourself look big and walk away slowly. The two worst reactions would be to turn your back on it and to run away.”
Doyle said people should be aware of predators and report any sightings to a 24-hour call centre. The number is 1-877-952-7277.
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