A Comox neighbourhood had an unwelcome visitor Friday morning.
A cougar was spotted moving through a backyard of the 1200 block of Guthrie Road, in the Brookside Estates area.
A surveillance video shows the animal wandering from the woods into the backyard, approach the house slowly as it walks onto the patio and right up to the house before turning to check out some other spots in the yard and finally disappearing into the woods again. The episode lasts a little over 90 seconds.
The family received an alert from the surveillance system about the animal in the backyard and were surprised at the size of it. They had seen other creatures before, such as deer or raccoons, but this was a first time for wildcats.
“We’ve never seen anything before…. This startled us,” said the homeowner, who asked not to be identified.
They saw the animal approach the back of the house. At one point it snarled, possibly when it saw its reflection in the glass, before seeing there was no food available and leaving.
The Town of Comox posted a warning Friday morning on social media about the animal being spotted in the area of 1270 Guthrie Rd.
The cougar visit was the subject of some discussion on social media channels, with people talking about previous visits in the area. One person commented that a cougar cruised through the area a few years earlier but they had heard of no reports since.
Another person mentioned having a cougar come by their farm property at Anderton Road.
The provincial government has published information about avoiding interactions with cougars at home, including not letting pets roam or feeding them outside, not feeding other animals such as deer that might attract cougars and placing domestic livestock in enclosed areas at night.
To report cougars in conflict, sightings in urban areas or animals showing unusual or aggressive behaviour, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.