A stuffed cougar at the Parksville Museum and Archive where they’ll celebrate Panther Valley Day on July 26.

A stuffed cougar at the Parksville Museum and Archive where they’ll celebrate Panther Valley Day on July 26.

Panther Valley Day nears in Parksville

Parksville Museum hosts event July 26 celebrating local history

Cougar sightings are still relatively common in the Parksville area, though not nearly as common as they where 100 years ago when it earned the nickname “Panther Valley.”

Cougars — also known as panthers, pumas and mountain lions — were once common enough that a single founding father, James “Cougar” Craig, was able to kill more than 150 of them as late as the 1940s.

Conservation officer Steve Ackles has previously said there are an estimated 400 to 600 on Vancouver Island, which still accounts for one of the highest densities in the world, similar to parts of Oregon and northern California.

The Parksville Museum is hosting the ninth annual Panther Valley Day on July 26 in their Craig Heritage Park, named after the early settler, where a stuffed cougar can be seen in Craig Cabin.

The fun celebration of local history will feature a petting zoo, live music from the Hub City Ramblers, demonstrations of old-fashioned butter churning, panning for gold and blacksmithing.

Complete with face painting, scavenger hunts and plenty of food, admission is free for kids and students and the day promises to be fun for all ages.

The event runs 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, July 26 at the museum at 1245 E. Island Highway, next to the visitor info centre.

For more information, contact the museum at 250-248-6966, or www.parksvillemuseum.ca.

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