RCMP ask those who see predators in human-use areas to report them

Officials are taking recent reports of cougar sightings in and around Ucluelet seriously.

Police are asking anyone who sees a predator wandering around a humanuse area to call their local RCMP detachment or the BC Conservation Officer Service.

Ucluelet RCMP received three reports of cougar sightings in the past two weeks, said Const. Chris Squire.

Reports circulating around town include two in the 1600 block of Bay Street (one of a cougar chasing a deer in the morning and one of a large cougar by the park around 2 a.m.) and also sightings in the Willowbrae area.

Spotting animals on the West Coast should be expected, he said.

“It shouldn’t be a problem, in most cases, if you just see a bear or see a cougar wandering around. It’s Ucluelet, it’s a heavily wooded area so it is expected to see wild animals here,” he said.

“As long as they’re acting normally then there’s no reason for us to do anything but, that said, if people see (predators), give us a call and give Conservation a call just so we can track it.”

The BC conversation officer service encourages sightings to be reported to 1-877-952-7277.

Break in at Petro-Can

About $500 worth of old car parts was recently stolen from the Ucluelet Petro-Can.

Const. Chris Squire of the Ucluelet RCMP said Petro-Can staff locked up on July 17 and returned the next morning to find the compound gate’s lock had been broken and catalytic converters had been taken from a variety of older vehicles.

No suspects have been identified in the crime and Squire encourages anyone with information to contact the Ucluelet RCMP detachment at 250-726-7773.

Public drinking trending towards trouble

Ucluelet police responded to six reported incidents of public alcohol consumption in the two weeks leading up to Ukee Days.

Const. Squire said police will be cracking down on the issue because public drinking can lead to larger problems.

“People that are drinking in public tend to end up getting drunk, which means we tend to get called for them,” he said. “People that are drinking at home tend to be a lot more responsible, people that are out wandering around drinking tend to be the ones causing the problems.”

He noted the fine for drinking alcohol in public is $230.

Traffic jams With summer’s traffic grinding to a crawl, local drivers are reminded to keep their heads in the game while maneuvering familiar roads.

Const. Squire said the Ucluelet detachment has responded to three crashes in the past two weeks. “Summer traffic is up; you might think you know the road but you never know what’s going to come out in front of you around a corner though so mind your speed and pay attention to what other people are doing.”

With files from J. Carmichael

reporter@westerlynews. ca