Mitchell Leask’s dogs were able to take on a cougar that attacked them, but the Cherryville resident is concerned for local children who can’t run or fight like dogs.
“It’s a nightmare right now and I’m really worried about the local children living out here 30 kilometres from the village,” said Leask of attacks that have taken place on Shuswap River Drive in recent weeks.
One dog has already been killed and two have suffered major attack wounds.
“One cat has been taken by conservation, but there are two more males near the seven km marker and two more at 11 km,” warns Leask.
The first tragedy struck Jan. 21 when a neighbour’s border collie was killed.
“Conservation found the cougar feeding next to the house,” said Leask.
Then one of Leask’s dogs went missing at the start of February.
“I spent eight days straight up that hill on my quad. Yelling. Crying. People across the river from me heard me and they yelled too. And they also said nice things to me, ‘Hearts broke for the man yelling on the mountain.’”
Adela, or Della as she is affectionately called, was gone 11 days and 12 nights in -22 C.
“She came back 15 lbs lighter and chewed. I cried so hard I puked when the neigbour told me he had her hiding in his woodpile.”
Then just days later, Leask’s mother’s fur baby was attacked right in her yard.
“One came right into the yard where my mother was working. Luckily her baby ran in and saved her,” Leask said.
“Traumatic to say the least…What a nightmare.”
With all of these attacks happening so close to home, Leask warns area residents to be extra cautious.
“Be careful out there in the bush alone and please watch your children. Even in the yard. These attacks happened on Shuswap River Drive.”