FACEBOOK/ HANNA PETERSEN The cougars approached a family near Fort Rupert.

Baby cougars spotted near Fort Rupert

“We are monitoring these kittens currently.”

Three cougar kittens were spotted by a family in Fort Rupert near Wawis Creek.

The kittens were not afraid to approach the family’s van and children. The family called the conservation officer immediately after the sighting on July 2.

“We are monitoring these kittens currently,” said North Island Conservation Officer Jon Paquin. “We don’t assume they are orphans but we are trying to ascertain if the mom is still around.”

Paquin said it’s not unusual for a cougar to leave her kittens for long periods of time in order to hunt, adding the mother cougar could be returning at nighttime.

“We are hoping the mom is still around and they should move on,” said Paquin. “They are a minimal public safety risk right now.”

However, Paquin stressed the animals should be respected. “What we are asking people to do is scare the kittens back into the green space so they retain their fear of humans.”

Paquin added if people spot the kittens they should not approach them for photos.

Conservation will continue to monitor the kittens before they decide what actions to take. He asked for anyone who spots these cougars to immediately call and report the sighting to the conservation R.A.P.P. line at 1-877-952-7277.