Cougar stirs up Port Hardy residents

Barely a week after cougar incidents in Port McNeill, another big cat — or more — has made its presence felt in Port Hardy.

PORT HARDY—Barely a week after at least two cougars sparked school lockdowns and a hunt in Port McNeill, another big cat — or more — has made its presence felt in Port Hardy.

James Hilgemann of the Conservation Officer Service confirmed reports of sightings Oct. 25 in the area around Thunderbird Mall and Port Hardy Hospital, and Oct. 26 off Market Street near CIBC and Tru Hardware.

“We called Port Hardy RCMP to attend on our behalf,” said Hilgemann, who is based in Black Creek. “Since the Oct. 26 report, we’ve heard nothing.”

Other residents, however, have shared sightings with each other, either directly or through social media. One resident, Vi-Anne Roberts, was moved to create a new Facebook page this week, North Island Wildlife Awareness, where residents can share information and alert each other about potential human-wildlife encounters.

Hilgemann reminds the public that the CO Service can only respond to potential threats if it is informed of sightings.

To report a sighting, call 1-877-952-7277.