A cougar has been spotted roaming a popular walking area in an east Courtenay neighbourhood, serving as a reminder for the public to be vigilant at all times and to keep pets at home or leashed.
Dawson Deederly and neighbour Cat Pedersen captured the cougar on their houses’s surveillance cameras around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 3) at their homes on Muir Road.
“The cougar stuck too close to the house to set off our garage cameras and sensor lights. Then it went to the neighbours’ backyard … hopped their fence and went into their front yard … (and) ended up in their neighbour’s driveway,” Deederly said.
The area behind the homes houses a duck pond and frequently-used walking trails and is adjacent to Sandwick Park.
The cougar was spotted about one kilometre away from Queneesh Elementary School, located on Mission Road.
Jillian Bjarnason, a conservation officer with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said cougars – who are nocturnal animals – are very active at night and most likely would be searching for small prey.
“Bring in any pets at night – especially cats – and minimize attractants such as pet food left outside.”
The sighting has been reported to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. To report cougar or bear sightings, call the BC Conservation Officer 24-hour call service at 1-877-952-7277.