The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)

Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

A mid-Island woman who contacted the province about euthanizing practices for cougars is hoping conservation officials do not have to destroy a young one in the area.

The animal followed a couple of house cats to a Fanny Bay home on the morning of Monday, April 19, looking inside the house and hissing.

Tiffaney Daniels had heard that conservation officers had a policy to euthanize the cougar. Particularly because it is young, she decided to contact her MLA Josie Osborne, the deputy minister of environment and the minister of environment to ask for an alternative, such as having the animal relocated.

By mid-week, she had a conversation with Insp. Ben York, officer in charge of the West Coast region, who told her relocation is not effective as the animals roam over a large area, which on Vancouver Island would likely put it close to human settlements.

“Cougars have huge home ranges,” he told the Record.

He explained that euthanizing is not the only approach, nor is there any single regional policy.

“It’s definitely a sliding scale,” he said.

York said conservation office staff use a decision-making matrix, with much depending on the behaviour of the young animal. The best case is that it will not become acclimatized to humans and will leave for the wild, as cougars typically do.

“The hope is that the animal just goes away,” he said.

The challenge is if the animal continues to come around settled areas, looking for prey such as domestic cats, and it starts hissing or does not act scared of humans. In this case, there is some anecdotal evidence the animal has come into contact with other house cats.

There have been other sightings in the Fanny Bay area. York said that on Wednesday morning there was a cougar in a backyard but a dog treed it and it left the area.

The key, according to York, is to make surroundings uninviting to wild, predatory animals like cougars. That might mean having a large dog scare them away, as well as making sure small domestic animals are kept inside and small children do not wander freely in areas a cougar might be lurking.

Daniels, herself, has had to listen to her house cat being killed by a wild animal, so she knows the threat a cougar can pose.

“They’re fast, and you don’t know they’re there,” she said.

She is hopeful it will move somewhere remote. In the meantime, she will be trying to encourage people in the Fanny Bay area on social media forums to keep their pets indoors, bang pots and pans or make noise if they see a cougar or in some way let the wild cat know it is not welcome.

York encourages anyone who sees an animal to report it on the province’s Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Cougar stalks cabin perimeter on Island’s west coast

RELATED: Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ConservationDangerous Animals

Just Posted

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Pacific sand dollars are a local species which belong to the same group as sea urchins. While alive, they are covered entirely by thousands of densely packed, short and slender spikes. (Photo courtesy of Louise Page)
The peculiar life of a Pacific sand dollar

UVic biology professor Louise Page offers a glace into sand dollars’ world under the water

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read