String of cougar attacks in Greater Victoria prompts warning to watch pets, kidsDemir D. - April 1, 2022
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) is warning residents in Greater Victoria to stay alert after several cougar attacks on pets.
There have been three daytime attacks on dogs in the East Sooke and Metchosin areas in the past two weeks, according to a statement from the government agency. All of the incidents happened in the backyards of rural residences.
Two of the dogs survived, but one was killed. All three were larger dog breeds, with each of the animals weighing more than 27 kilograms.
COS says while it is not unusual for cougars to see roaming dogs as prey, officers are concerned about repeated behaviour at residences during daytime hours.
Residents are being asked to keep children close and watch any pets when they are outside.
WildSafeBC — the provincial agency tasked with preventing conflict between wild animals and people — lists several tips to keep in mind to improve your survival chances if you encounter a cougar.
First and foremost, remain calm and pick up any children immediately. Back away slowly from the animal and make sure there is a clear path the cougar can take to escape so it does not feel cornered.
Sudden movement can provoke an attack, so never turn and run. Make yourself as large as possible, keep the cat in front of you, and arm yourself with sticks or rocks if available.
If the cougar shows interest, show it you mean business. Maintain eye contact, bare your teeth and make noise. The idea is to convince the cougar you are the threat and not the other way around.
If the cougar pounces, fight back. Many people have survived a cougar attack in B.C. Focus your attack on its face and eyes.
COS is asking anyone in the East Sooke and Metchosin areas to report cougar sightings immediately to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
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