Several Cougar Sightings in the Region

July 11, 2019

There have been several reports of cougar sightings in the Promontory area of Chilliwack, Seabird Island near Agassiz, and Cascade Falls near Mission.

The Conservation Officer Service is monitoring the situation. Please continue to report cougar sightings to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277. Pets should be kept indoors and children should be monitored while playing outside. Avoid walking alone at dusk and dawn when cougars are most active. While cougar attacks are rare, pets and small children are most at risk. Cougar attacks often involve young cougars learning to hunt or older cougars that are less efficient at catching their primary prey.

Cougars are elusive and wide ranging animals. To reduce conflict where you live it is important to mitigate risks by reducing attractants that may encourage them to stay:

  • Keep pets indoors, especially at night. Free-ranging cats and dogs may be at risk
  • Feed pets indoors
  • Take down bird feeders. Fallen seeds from bird feeders may attract rodents and other mammals, and subsequently attract cougars
  • Use properly installed and maintained electric fencing to protect chickens, small livestock or other attractants
  • Store all animal feed securely and keep feeding areas clean
  • Never feed deer or other wildlife that may be potential prey for cougars

If you encounter a cougar, stay calm. Make yourself appear as large as possible and back away slowly. Never run and do not turn your back on the cougar. If you have small children or pets with you, pick them up immediately. If the cougar approaches stand your ground, maintain eye contact and speak using a loud, firm voice. Reinforce the fact that you are a human and not an easy target. Back out of the area and seek help or shelter. If the cougar approaches, stop and respond aggressively. In the event of an attack, fight back, focusing on the facial area and eyes. For more information on cougar safety and reducing conflicts, refer to the WildSafeBC website. Bear spray can also be used as a deterrent and information on the safe use and transport can be found at: https://wildsafebc.com/bear-spray/