Conservation Officers have had a spike in cougar complaints in the Kootenays

Kootenay CO attacked in second cougar incident in one night

The heavy snowfall may have been a factor with Tuesday night incidents

  • Feb. 15, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Barry Coulter

A Kootenay Conservation Officer had a close encounter with not one but two cougars Tuesday night, near Salmo, having to put down one cougar that had been struck by a truck on the road, and then sustaining minor injuries after being attacked by another that was trying to get into a Salmo house, through a window.

At about 7:15 p.m., Tuesday evening, Feb. 14, a B.C. Conservation Officer responded to a report of an injured cougar near Salmo, according to Deputy Chief Chris Doyle of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, during a conference call Wednesday. The officer found the cat, suffering by the road after it had been struck by a pick-up.

“The officer was able to humanely euthanize this cougar,” Doyle said. “The same officer then responded to a complaint of a cougar attempting to enter a window of residence, near the community of Salmo, approximately 10 kilometres from where the first cougar had been struck.”

Doyle said that while investigating this second complaint, the officer was attacked — without provocation — and was forced to kill the cougar to stop the attack. The officer sustained minor injuries — minor surface wounds — and the BC Conservation Service is now investigating, as it does with all such incidents.

“The second cougar was found to be extremely emaciated,” Doyle added.

Tobe Sprado, Officer in Charge of Okanagan region and Acting Officer in Charge of Kootenay Region, said there had been a spike in the number of cougar complaints in the Kootenay region. Around Salmo, for example, he said, there had been 14 complaints since April, 2016. Of those 14, 10 had been during the month of February, 2017.

The heavy snowfall may have been a factor with these recent incidents, Sprado said.

“What we’re finding with the recent number of complaints we’ve been receiving, is with the current snow conditions in the West Kootenay — it’s quite deep, and generally the prey species are located in the valley bottoms. Specifically deer and elk. The snow is non-compact and loose, so it makes it difficult for cougars to be able to prey on their normal prey species. They then start to come into communities for an easier food source, generally pets — dogs and cats.”

The COs aren’t sure if the two cougars were related.

“We don’t know,” Sprado said. “We had been receiving complaints of a female cougar with two juvenile cats. The first cougar was and adult, struck by a pick-up truck, the second cat that attacked the officer was a small emaciated tom. I think they’re unrelated, but there could be a connection.”

While the young cougar was emaciated, the adult cougar in the first instance was in good shape,” Doyle said.

Just Posted

Cranbrook gets new, much-needed psychologist

Dr. Thompson is now the only registered psychologist in the entire East Kootenay

Cranbrook snow plow operator helps save elderly man

The 73-year-old man had fallen at his isolated home, and finally was able to call for help

Trouble at the drive-thru

Customer freaks out after finding order not complete

Cokato resident receives Order of Canada

Dr. Bryan Kolb has been instrumental in helping society understand what happens inside our heads

Townhouse development will be going ahead on 4th Street South

The proposal to build a townhouse-style development on 4th Street South, near… Continue reading

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Most Read