One Lake Country resident is shaken up after what she described as a “massive cougar” dashed in front of her car Tuesday morning.
According to Wenelda Zurrin’s Facebook post, a cougar ran out in front of her vehicle while she was driving along Carr’s Landing in Lake Country around 7:30 a.m Tuesday.
“I just ran face to face with a cougar driving into town,” Zurrin’s post read.
“He looked at me as he came out on the road and darted in front of my vehicle. He was massive! Almost as high as the hood of my car!”
Conservation Officer Terry Myroniuk said cougar sightings in that area are not uncommon the Carr’s Landing area is their natural habitat and this particular sighting is not considered a threat to the community.
According to Myroniuk, cougars are more inclined to be seen at lower levels of elevation during the winter because they are hunting for food.
The District of Lake Country posted a reminder to residents to remain calm if a cougar is spotted.
“We share the natural space with cougars, bears, deer and other wildlife,” the district wrote, confirming the sighting in Carr’s Landing.
One of the top menu items for cougars is deer and when there’s lots of snowfall, deer tend to migrate to lower elevations to avoid travelling in the deep, hard-packed snow.
Myroniuk reminds residents that in the Okanagan we share natural wild space and wilderness with other animals and to be aware that cougars and bears are often found in these spaces.
According to WildSafe BC, if you do encounter a cougar try and remain calm, make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the animal in view.
If a cougar shows aggression or begins following you, keep eye contact, yell and make loud noises.
The BC Conservation Office Service asks that any wildlife encounters be reported to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.