This cougar is believed responsible for killing River

Pet-killing cougar shot dead

A single bullet from a .30-06 rifle ended the life of a cougar believed to be responsible for the death of at least one North Island pet.

A single bullet from a .30-06 rifle ended the life of a cougar believed to be responsible for the death of at least one North Island pet.

“Based on the proximity of where I got it over in Fort Rupert and the same age characteristics, I believe it is the same adult male cougar that took River,” said Tanner Beck, who recently replaced Tim Schumacher as the North Island’s lone conservation officer.

River, a year and-a-half old black-and-white Boston terrier, was snatched in front of owner D’Arcy Deacon from their Storey’s Beach property March 12.

Deacon told the Gazette he’d been working in his yard when a cougar leapt over a four-ft fence, landed about six-ft inside the yard where it grabbed the roughly 15-lb dog, before the big cat jumped and landed about six-feet outside the same fence.

Deacon, armed with a machete, gave a short chase, but quickly lost sight of the cougar.

“It was just too fast,” he said.

Beck said by the time he’d heard about the dog-snatching, it was too late after the fact to track the cougar.

“When it took the dog, we couldn’t get out on it and it’s important to respond in a few hours because the scent trail dissipates,” he said.

“We’ve been told by the hounds man if it’s raining and we’re not there right away, then the scent will wash away and, if it’s really hot, the scent will burn away.”

There were a couple other sightings, a fateful one April 1 when a Fort Rupert man managed to get some photos.

“It was about 30-ft up the tree and it sat there for 45 minutes to an hour,”  said Edward White, who reckoned he was about 20-ft from the cougar when he began clicking.

Beck got the call and was soon on scene.

“The cougar seemed to have a very limited fear of people and the fact it was sighted in a populated area during daylight hours is odd behaviour for a cougar,” he said.

“Once they get that comfortable around people, well, this one was likely feeding on stray cats and stray dogs.”

There were no other calls about pets that disappeared, however there were rumours a house cat disappeared around the same time River was grabbed by the cougar.

“We couldn’t verify that,” said Beck.

“(The pet cat) did go missing and (the owner) hasn’t seen it and we can’t say for sure whether it was a cougar or an eagle or whatever.”

With the assistance of a Port McNeill hound and it’s handler, Beck tracked the cougar through the bush for about an hour and-a-half.

The hound got ahead of the men, but using data from a GPS device in the dog’s collar, the men soon found the pooch at the bottom of the tree where the cougar sat in its branches.

A single bullet ended the life of the roughly 120-lb cougar.

Beck said there has been no necropsy done on the big cat.

“I’m just figuring out what we’re doing with it,” he said.

“In the future, it may be necropsied, but due to the size of the cat and the proximity of where it was, we’re thinking it was the same cat that was eating the pets.”

Beck said it’s not unusual to have cougars search the fringe of properties for food.

“Mostly because some people let their dogs and cats roam free and those become very easy prey for cougars — dogs and cats aren’t as hard to get as a rabbit in the wild would be,” he said, noting cougars have been known to attack larger dogs the size of Labrador retrievers.

“I’d like to remind residents of the North Island to keep their pets from free-roaming, because that will draw cougars in.”

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

Island Health issues press release regarding Port Alice Health Centre service changes

Island Health will be hosting a community meeting in Port Alice Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the rec centre.

Vancouver Island Regional Library wants to team up with the Town of Port McNeill to build a new multi-use facility

“A new library for the town, as you know, will quickly become an exciting hub of literacy”

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read