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Cougars pose threat

A three-year-old female cougar has been located in the Kinloch Drive area of Coldstream. - Conservation Officer Service photo
A three-year-old female cougar has been located in the Kinloch Drive area of Coldstream.
— image credit: Conservation Officer Service photo

Cougars are a natural part of the North Okanagan, but they do pose a risk.

Conservation officers destroyed a three-year-old female cat Thursday night after it had been hanging around Kinloch Drive and Kidston Road in Coldstream since Christmas.

“When there is the potential for conflict, officers react appropriately,” said Sgt. Josh Lockwood.

The cougar was stalking and eating raccoons and not house pets, but there is always a concern that a cougar can come in contact with people, and especially a child.

There is not a shortage of cougars in the North Okanagan and it’s believed they may be showing up in urban settings because they are following deer from the snow-covered hills down in to the valley.

Once in a neighbourhood, they can find other sources of food, such as pets.

“We’re getting lots of calls of sightings,” said Lockwood, adding that a cougar killed a llama in Tappen Friday.

Cougars are also seen in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park but that is expected.

“It is a back-country park,” said Lockwood.

Once caught, at-risk cougars are destroyed as relocation is not successful because they are put into another cat’s territory.

“We may also put them into an area where there is no food source,” said Lockwood.

If you see a cougar, call the conservation reporting line at 1-877-952-5277 or *5277 on a cellular phone.

 

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