COQUITLAM, B.C., Feb. 16, 2021 – Further to recent cougar sightings and attacks on small dogs in northeast areas of the city, Coquitlam residents are urged to take measures to protect their pets.
Following reports of these attacks in Coquitlam, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) has put in place measures to capture the cougars believed to be responsible for these recent incidents. In addition, the City of Coquitlam’s Urban Wildlife team is working with the COS to address community concerns and support public education on this issue.
To date, all reported cougar attacks have involved small dogs and there have been no reported incidents related to aggressive behaviour towards humans. However, Coquitlam residents are still encouraged to be vigilant, supervise small children while outdoors and take the following precautions:
- Keep pets indoors, especially at night.
- Keep dogs leashed at all times.
- Avoid placing pet food or bird seed outside, as this can attract smaller animals, such as raccoons and squirrels, which are prey to cougars.
- Avoid hiking or walking alone, especially between dusk and dawn when cougars are most active, and be aware of fresh signs, such as tracks or scat.
- If you find dead wildlife, slowly leave the area as this may indicate a cougar food cache.
- Continue to report all cougar sightings directly to the COS at 1-877-952-7277.
It is not unusual for cougars to be in greenway corridors throughout the Lower Mainland and Coquitlam. If you spot a cougar near your home, it is most likely passing through the neighbourhood and will move on.
If You Encounter a Cougar
Cougars are secretive animals and, typically, are rarely seen. If you encounter a cougar, keep calm, make yourself look as large as possible, yell and make noise and back away slowly.
- Do not run or turn your back on the animal.
- Keep the cougar in sight and maintain eye contact.
- Raise your arms above your head to make yourself look bigger.
- Speak loudly and firmly.
- If the cougar continues to approach, act aggressive to scare it off. i.e. Throw rocks or grab a stick or branch if available.
For other tips and information visit https://wildsafebc.com/species/cougar/ or https://tinyurl.com/yw2cf9mh .