(File photo)

(File photo)

Cougars kill miniature horse in Kelowna

There was also an attack on a deer near the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Park

In the past 36 hours, Conservation Officers in Kelowna have responded to two cougar attacks on animals.

Both attacks happened near the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Park at night, on or around March 22 and 23. In the first incident, a miniature horse was killed and in the second a deer died.

Conservation Officers (CO) responded to both incidents and according to CO Ken Owens in the first matter, the two cougars responsible were captured and humanely euthanized.

“In the second matter, Conservation Officers responded and moved the deer carcass away from nearby residences,” said Owens.

Cougars are normally nocturnal and typically prey on an available food source within the areas they live. This diet can include deer.

“A cougar that has learned to hunt livestock and pets near residences, can threaten the safety of other livestock and pets in the neighbourhood,” stated Owens.

The Conservation Officer Service has some reminders for the public to prevent conflict with cougars:

•Don’t feed wildlife and feral cats (domestic cats gone wild). This includes deer, raccoons, and other small mammals. Remember predators follow prey.

•Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. Left outside at night, small dogs and cats may become prey for cougars.

•Use certified wildlife-resistant garbage containers with tight-fitting lids. Garbage attracts small mammals that, in turn, attract cougars.

•Livestock and small animals, such as goats, sheep, chickens and miniature horses are attractants to cougars. Outdoor livestock should be kept in secure pens and away from forest boundaries.

Cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare, to obtain cougar safety tips and cougar facts visit https://tinyurl.com/yw2cf9mh or wildsafebc.com.

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@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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