Four cougars were reported in the Princeton area in 2020. Courtesy photo

Cougar put down after it attacks dog in Sunningdale

Investigators believe that the young cougar may have been separated from his mother.

*Warning: Story contains graphic photo of dead cougar.

Residents of Sunningdale had a rare and unfortunate visitor to the neighbourhood on Sunday.

Trail and Greater District RCMP and the BC Conservation Officer Service responded to a call of a young cougar that had attacked and killed a dog in the backyard of a home in the 600-block of Isabella Crescent.

Police along with the conservation officer located the cougar and dispatched it without further incident.

Evidence suggests that the cougar had been in the vicinity for a few days. A Trail resident said she heard the cougar the night before, when she took her own dog out for a walk along Hazlewood Drive.

“It didn’t sound like a regular house cat, it was a deeper and definitely scarier sound,” said the Sunningdale woman.

Related read: Police confirm two cougar sightings in Trail

According to Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich, a joint investigation discovered the cougar’s feeding den in a small section of forest near the attack.

“Investigators believe that the young cougar may have been separated from his mother which resulted in him to begin hunting available prey within the city limits,” said Wicentowich in a release. “This is unusual behavior for cougars who are generally shy and secluded animals.”

Trail RCMP and conservation officers were forced to put down a cougar after it attacked and killed a dog in Sunningdale on Sunday. Photo: Submitted

In August 2012, an emaciated cougar brazenly walked into a Sunningdale home and attacked a woman. The woman was able to fight the cougar off with the help of her dog, and the cat was eventually tracked and put down by a conservation officer (CO).

CO Ben Beetlestone, who has had his own close encounter with a cougar, recommended to the Times reporter that the public never approach a cougar if they do encounter one.

“They need to give the cougar an escape route; if they have young children, I would pick them off the ground.

“Definitely don’t run from the cougar, don’t turn your back on it and, if you can, make yourself look bigger by putting your hands in the air. If the cougar does attack, fight back.”

Residents are advised to report wildlife conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.RAPP (7277) or to the Trail detachment at 250.364.2566.

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Trail Daily Times