Police and conservation officers in south central British Columbia are warning residents to watch out for hungry cougars with no fear of humans and an appetite for small animals and children.

The warning comes after three cougars were shot in Princeton this week where they were seen stalking children and adults in a camp ground and a local park.

The three cougars involved were categorized as "killer cats,'' by conservation officers because they are young, hungry and have no fear of human beings.

On July 10, a 16-month old cougar was shot by an alert citizen after it was seen stalking children who were swimming in the Tulameen River. RCMP Cpl. said Dan Moskaluk said police interviewed the man who shot the cougar and decided that he had taken the appropriate action.

"Given the young age of the children, the chances of surviving the pending attack would not have been great,'' said Cpl. Moskaluk.

Less than 24 hours later, police shot a young female cougar, which had been spotted prowling at Princeton Memorial Park, where hundreds of people were gathered for a ball tournament.

Police said the cougar was seen within 100 feet of an adjacent swimming pool, which was full of local children.

Police and conservation officers are hoping that these will be the last Cougar sightings in the Princeton area this season. However, they say residents should take the time to familiarize themselves about wildlife species that may be living nearby.

Related Links: BC Conservation Office Service

Useful information

Children and cougars

Cougars seem to be attracted to children, possibly because of their high-pitched voices, small size and erratic movements; these character traits may make it difficult for cougars to identify children as humans and not prey.

Cougar sightings

If going hiking in backcountry areas, travel in a group. Cougars are less likely to attack groups of people. Avoid hiking alone.


Roaming pets are easy prey for cougars. Keep them leashed or behind a fence. Bring your pet in at night. If the pet must be left out at night, confine it to a kennel with a secure top.