Cougar shot after killing pets in B.C. neighbourhood
Published Tuesday, January 19, 2016 6:11PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:01PM PST
A cougar believed responsible for killing numerous pets in Hope, B.C. has been shot by conservation officers – but some residents are concerned there might be a second animal in the area.
Guy Striker had just let his dog Sara out on Sunday night when he heard the pooch yelping. He stepped outside – and found a cougar in the backyard of his Park Avenue and Lakeview Crescent home.
“I was scared because the cougar’s not moving and I'm staring at it and it's just sitting there watching me,” he said. “It did have a white thing in its mouth pretty big and I thought ‘well that's my dog.’”
Sara was killed, and her body was found the next morning by the Striker family. The cougar left visible tracks in the snow.
In total, two dogs and a cat were killed by the cougar, and another pooch was seriously injured.
The cougar was fatally shot in Striker’s backyard on Monday.
Conservation officer Don Stahl says it was too bad the animal had to be killed, but officers had no choice.
“It was getting just too comfortable and losing its natural fear of people and was just not after its natural prey,” said Stahl. “[It was] preying on pets and we were just concerned the next step was a small child.”
Locals are worried a second animal could be responsible for one of the pet attacks, and have posted warning signs in the neighbourhood.
For information on what to do if you encounter a cougar, see the B.C. Ministry of Environment’s cougar interaction factsheet.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro