A cougar that had been spotted around Rossland was destroyed last week, after it attacked a local dog.
Ben Beetlestone, the conservation officer who responded to the call said he was following up on a complaint about a cougar that attacked a dog on the night of Feb. 15.
“We were able to locate the cougar because it was seen again at about 8:30 in Rossland and the person phoned it in right away,” Beetlestone said, of the morning of Feb. 16. “I was in Rossland with a houndsman so we located it right away and could deal with this situation right away before somebody got hurt.”
Beetlestone said the cougar was still on the hunt in the residential part of Rossland where it was shot.
“We didn’t have to use the hounds, because it hadn’t left town yet and we were able to find it hiding in a hedge in a backyard,” he said.
A cougar is strictly a carnivore, so he said that if it is hanging around a community it is hungry. The cougars that find themselves in that situation are generally either young or sick cougars.
“They just are not able to survive, for whatever reason, in the wild, so they start hanging around residential areas where they begin to pick off pets and stuff,” he said. “This one certainly was sick, the necropsy has not been done yet, so I don’t know what was wrong with it.”
He said that a cougar is especially dangerous because in that state it would look at a child as prey, whereas a bear likely wouldn’t as long as it isn’t threatened.
“It’s very important that people call these issues in and we’ll make the determination if it’s a normal behaviour or not and then take an appropriate course of action,” he said.
If you do spot a cougar or bear, report it to the Report All Poacher and Polluters toll free 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/rapp/form.htm.