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District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

A cougar was spotted near a Lake Country school Saturday morning, prompting the district to offer a reminder on how to manage run-ins with potentially dangerous wildlife.

The cougar was seen by a resident walking dogs on the trail near Peter Greer Elementary school on the morning of May 30. In response, the District of Lake Country shared some tips from WildSafeBC on what to do upon such encounters.

“If you encounter a cougar, keep calm. Make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the cougar in view, and allowing a clear exit for the cougar. Pick up children and small pets immediately. Never run or turn your back- sudden movements may provoke an attack,” the district said on its Facebook page.

“If you notice a cougar that is watching you, maintain eye contact with the cougar and speak to it in a loud, firm voice. Reinforce the fact that you are a human and not an easy target. Back out of the area and seek assistance or shelter.

“If a cougar shows aggression, or begins following you, respond aggressively in all cases as cougars see you as a meal: keep eye contact, yell and make loud noises. Pick up nearby sticks, rocks, or whatever you have at hand to quickly to use as a weapon if necessary- crouch down as little as possible when picking things up off the ground,” district officials said.

If a cougar attacks, the conventional wisdom is to fight back, focusing on its face and eye area.

“Use rocks, sticks, bear spray, or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and are not prey.”

To report an incident, call the Conservation Officer Service’s RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: ‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

READ MORE: Bear fails to interrupt golfers in Vernon


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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Brendan Shykora

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