File photo of a large adult cougar spotted in a residential yard on Vancouver Island in April. A resident of Harrison Hot Springs said he found a cougar in his yard at 10 p.m. on Aug. 2 with a dead cat in its mouth. (Cory Betz/file photo)

B.C. man comes face-to-face with cougar that killed his cat

Harrison Hot Springs resident concerned no warnings were issued after sighting nearby two days prior

When Craig Caignou heard a noise Wednesday evening outside his trailer near Harrison Hot Springs, he thought it was his cat wanting in.

He opened the door and saw Casper alright. But she was dead in the mouth of a cougar.

“When I got out, it was five to eight feet away, standing there looking at me,” Caignou said. “I had to grab my other cat by the scruff of its neck.”

Despite the light he was holding and the presence of a human so close, the cougar didn’t spook.

“It didn’t run away when I was right beside it. It just sauntered off.”

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirmed this was the second sighting of a cougar in Harrison Hot Springs in recent days, although Caignou’s encounter isn’t listed as a “sighting,” but rather a conflict.

The first sighting was on July 31 by a resident on Miami River Drive who said a cougar was on the trail looking at her housecat through a chainlink fence.

When the BCCOS gets a report of a cougar, they try to ensure it’s actually a cougar and not a bobcat, which is a common mistake, said conservation officer Hana Anderson.

In the case of the sighting and the conflict in Harrison, Anderson said it’s consistent not only with it being a cougar but with normal predatory behaviour.

“There have been no sightings of it during the day, which is a good thing. It’s acting like a natural cougar. A cougar isn’t going to necessarily know the difference between a racoon or a housecat. It looks like natural prey.”

And while the Village of Harrison Hot Springs has posted signs around about the cougar in the area, Anderson said there isn’t much more they can do since the cougar is behaving normally.

“The most important thing for people to do generally to protect their pets from any predator is to secure them, especially at night,” she said.

As for Caignou, he’s upset a warning wasn’t issued after the July 31 sighting.

“If Harrison had brought out a warning when they had first seen one, my cat would probably be alive.”

The interactive Wildlife Alert Reporting Program site shows reported sightings and conflicts across B.C.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Parksville-Qualicum home prices skyrocket

Benchmark price jumps 16 per cent in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Kiosk designed to help residents, visitors of Parksville Qualicum Beach

Parksville chamber hopes this to be first of many

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Ballenas girls roll past Kwalikum in hoop rivalry

Late charge lifts Whalers to 72-56 win over Kondors

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Ladysmith woman who jumped from ferry meets rescuers

A local artist who survived five hours in the frigid waters of… Continue reading

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Most Read