Three young cougars killed on Vancouver Island

Animals had attacked a dog right out front of a neighbourhood daycare.

Three young cougars were killed by conservation officers after attacking a dog near a daycare on Vancouver Island.

A man was walking his dog in Port Hardy near Kwigwis Daycare yesterday afternoon when one of the cougars attacked.

Conservation officers had been monitoring the three cougar kittens since they were first spotted in the community on July 2. They’ve been seen multiple times since then.

“The man and a summer student leaped into action hitting and kicking the cougar to get the dog loose,” said resident Margaret McDougall in a message to the North Island Gazette. “Then another cougar jumped out of the bushes to pick up the dog and they fought off that cougar too – this all happened a few feet from the gate to our daycare and steps from our summer daycamp.”

McDougall said the RCMP, a conservation officer, and a hunter were then called to the scene.

“Ten days ago we had a report of three young cougars on the Fort Rupert First Nation and at the time we were unsure if there was an adult female with the young,” said Murray Smith, Inspector of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service for the West Coast Region.

Smith said the cougars were all sub-adults in the six to 12 month age range, so conservation wasn’t able to determine if they were orphaned or if the mother had released them.

“The approach at the time was to do some education with the chief and council in the hopes that we could make everyone aware that these cougars were around and we were hoping they could reunite with the female,” said Smith.

Conservation had also reached out to the Greater Vancouver Zoo in the hopes they could take the cougars if they were in fact orphans. “Unfortunately we continued over consecutive days to have reports of these young cougars seen around the community,” said Smith.

Once they determined the cougars were not leaving not their own, conservation focused on preforming a live capture.

Smith said even after the cougars attacked the dog, their immediate intent was to tranquilize the cougars and transport them to the Vancouver Zoo.

“The one criteria identified to us was to make sure they were healthy, but by the time we got there we ended up finding that all three of them were extremely emaciated and one of them had been previously shot and had a broken leg.”

He said based on the condition of the young cougars, the humane decision was to put them all down. “It was an unfortunate situation and the staff was really disappointed – we hoped we had the opportunity to rehabilitate them at the zoo,” said Smith.

Conservations doesn’t believe there is an adult female in the area, and without a mother the cubs wouldn’t have the skills to hunt, leading them to stay in the community looking for easy prey.

Just Posted

B.C. man convicted in fatal boat crash awaiting appeal date

Leon Reinbrecht maintains rights breached by delays

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

Food truck options to expand in Salmon Arm

City council votes in new food truck regulations

New commercial development coming to council

Liquor outlet and 60-seat restaurant among uses proposed by applicant

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

KIJHL prospects shine in showcase game

Top players for Kootenay and Okanagan conferences put best skate forward.

Challenge issued to ‘Read for 15’

Regional district libraries to compete by asking patrons to read for 15 minutes on Jan. 26 and 27.

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

Most Read