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

Local Hero Awards coming to the North Island

“These people are making a difference in our communities and deserve to get recognized.”

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Grant funding denied for Fort Rupert Curling Club’s new roof, District on the hook for full costs

“I think we did our job in helping the curling club have a facility that is no longer leaking.”

Port Hardy Fire Rescue puts out structure fire

Approximately 20 firefighters responded to the incident.

Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw warns dealers and bootleggers they are not welcome

“My hope is that our community works together on this problem as one.”

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Did you get Hitched in Courtenay on Sunday?

The first annual wedding show saw big crowds and included two fashion shows

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Change in politics, society on sexual misconduct ‘not fast enough,’ says Trudeau

Trudeau says society still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment

Bank of Canada to make interest rate decision today

Economists widely believe that based on the economic environment, it’s likely interest rates will rise today

Most Read