Cougar being tracked in Qualicum Beach

Officials in District 69 are eager to find a cougar that has been seen numerous times in the daylight.

Officials in District 69 are eager to find a cougar that has been seen numerous times in the daylight.

“It’s becoming too comfortable with people,” said conservation officer Jeff Tyre on site at the Cedar Grove campground on the Little Qualicum River Friday morning after a camper got a picture of it around 7:30 a.m.

“It followed a youth along a trail in the dark last night,” he said and it has been seen numerous times across the northwest end of town over the past week.

While there haven’t been any attacks on humans or even pets or domestic animals reported yet, they are worried enough that they brought in a dog team to search for it.

The dogs were unsuccessful due to the warm temperature obscuring the scent and the two or three hours between the sighting and getting the dogs on scene.

Tyre said he believes it is a single cougar since only one at a time has been seen and the sightings are all close together compared to the size of cougar territories that can cover as much as 1,000 sq.km.

“Humans are not natural prey for cougars, they’re looking for things on four legs,” Tyre said. He urges people to call them right away with as exact a location and direction of travel as possible.

Report sightings to 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

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