(AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Young, emaciated cougars killed after stalking people, pets in Port Alberni

Cougar cubs had been staying close to trails at the top of Burde Street

Two emaciated young cougars were destroyed last weekend by the BC Conservation Officer Service after reports that they had been stalking people and pets in Port Alberni.

Conservation officers started receiving reports about the animals on May 14. The cougars, which had been staying close to the trails at the top of Burde Street, had tried to attack a dog, and a few days later, they were spotted stalking a toddler.

“The parents did everything right in that case and were able to get [the toddler] away from them,” said Sgt. Stuart Bates, conservation officer for the Central Island.

Port Alberni conservation officer Daniel Eichstadter went looking for the cougars on Sunday, May 17 and was able to get within five feet of them, said Bates. Because they exhibited no fear of humans, both cubs were killed.

Bates said the exact age of the animals is not known yet, but he suspects that they were less than six months old. The bodies will be examined in the coming days by a veterinarian.

“They were very emaciated,” said Bates. “They were way too young to be on their own. They had no idea what humans were—they had no fear.”

On April 15 of this year, a female cougar was struck and killed by a car on the Alberni Highway. Conservation officers suspect that this may have been the cubs’ mother.

“That means they had gone more than a month without food,” said Bates.

Without their mother to teach them how to properly hunt, the juveniles were starving and looking for food. This can make them dangerous, said Bates. A little more than a year ago, a pair of cougar cubs was destroyed after they attacked a seven-year-old boy in Lake Cowichan. Bates said that these cougars were around the same age.

READ MORE: Mother hailed as hero in Lake Cowichan cougar attack

“We can’t relocate cougars that can’t kill,” explained Bates. “They had no idea how to hunt without Mom there teaching them. It’s not the outcome we wanted, but it was the humane thing to do.”

Cougar encounters can be reported to the Conservation Officer Service online or by calling 1-877-952-7277.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Conservation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Metchosin to test tsunami notification on Thursday evening

Approximately 80 to 100 residents in tsunami-zone

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Sooke Crisis Centre closes doors

Services previously offered to be dispersed throughout community support groups

New affordable homes on the way in Sooke

Eight new affordable rental homes to be built at Hope Centre

CRD explores option to use Oak Bay Lodge for people who are homeless

Motion asks staff to work with BC Housing, Island Health on possibilities

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read