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More cougar sightings in Coldstream

Conservation officers are again calling for Coldstream residents to keep an eye on their house pets and livestock following another cougar sighting on the weekend.

Officers destroyed one female cougar after trapping it near Kinloch Drive Thursday, and a male cougar was put down in Lavington Saturday after the animal killed two goats.

Officers have also received a report of a cougar attempting to kill a Jack Russell terrier at a home on Husband Drive.

On Sunday, officials received four or five calls in regards to the sighting of a cougar near Tebo and Kirkland Drives, not too far from Kidston Elementary School. The cat was also observed walking onto a porch.

“It’s normal cougar behaviour in an unnatural environment,” said North Okanagan conservation officer Ken Owens Monday.

Traps were set for the animal and were being monitored, though Owens said there had been no more reported sightings of the cougar.

With its proximity to the Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve and Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, Coldstream is a prime cougar habitat close to where people live and where prey such as deer also reside.

The cougar sightings, said Owens, are not too alarming.

“We just want people to do everything they can to protect their pets and livestock,” he said. “Those are similar shape and size to a cougar’s natural prey. If they get the opportunity to kill domesticated animals, they will.

“Pets don’t have the instincts of wild animals and they become and easy food source. We don’t want that learned behaviour to develop in a cougar. They are a highly intelligent animal.”

A necropsy performed on the cougar trapped and killed near Kinloch Drive, said Owens, showed the animal had dog hair in its belly, proving it had been feeding on a domestic animal and most likely killed it.

Owens said there have been eight recorded fatalities involving cougars killing humans in 100 years, and, on average, there are less than one injury attacks per year by a cougar on a person.

 

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