News

Park open after cougar encounters

CANDACE WU

news@pqbnews.com

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park has re-opened after a five day hiatus following three unusual cougar encounters.

“I was up there (yesterday) morning and pulled all the traps,” said conversation officer Steve Ackles, adding that there haven’t been reports of cougar sightings or encounters since the closure Dec. 22.

While opening the park, Ackles left warning signs to remind residents that “cougars live in the area.”

Ackles said the park was closed as a precaution in response to a-typical behaviour.

“Following people for long periods of time despite their yelling and waving their hands is unusual behavior for a cougar,” he said. “But in all three encounters that were reported the people did the right thing.”

“Cougars are just like house cats in that if someone would have turned and ran away it would have raised the hazard and possibly triggered a predatory response,” he said.

Fortunately, all the individuals who came in contact with the cougar responded properly, said Ackles. The Ministry of Environment ask people to report every encounter to the 24-hour line at 1-877-952-7277. Visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/index.htm# for more information.

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