Early Monday morning an area resident reported that she and her mother had spotted a large cougar crossing the bridge near the high school on Barriere Town Road.
The sighting was quickly reported to the RCMP and the school was notified, and the public was warned to be cautious when out walking, especially along the riverbanks, and to keep small children and pets in sight at all times.
As of press time last Tuesday this newspaper was notified that the cougar had been found hiding under a trailer in the community. Reportedly Conservation attended, and the cat was put down by Conservation who noted the cat looked sick.
The wildsafebc.com website says, “If you encounter a cougar, keep calm. Make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the cougar in view, and allowing a clear exit for the cougar. Pick up children and small pets immediately.
“Never run or turn your back- sudden movements may provoke an attack. If you notice that a cougar that is watching you, maintain eye contact with the cougar and speak to it in a loud firm voice. Reinforce the fact that you are a human and not an easy target. Back out of the area and seek assistance or shelter. If a cougar shows aggression, or begins following you, respond aggressively in all cases as cougars see you as a meal: keep eye contact, yell and make loud noises, and show your teeth.
Pick up nearby sticks, rocks, or whatever you have at hand to quickly to use as a weapon if necessary- crouch down as little as possible when picking things up off the ground. If the cougar attacks, fight back, focusing on its facial and eye area. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray, or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and are not prey.”
Call the Conservation Officer Service reporting line (1-877-952-7277) to report the incident, and your local RCMP if it is within the community.