WIldSafeBC has received reports of a cougar kill site in Kimberley’s Nature Park along Connie’s Way Trail on Sunday evening.
WildSafeBC said cougars will take several days to fully consume large prey, such as deer, and will remain in the area until it is fully eaten. Cougars will also drag debris over its kill to keep scavengers away.
Deer serve as a primary food source for cougars, so if there is an abundance of deer in an area, there will likely be cougars as well.
WoldsSafeBC said the area has since been cleaned up, and signage has been posted and the path has been cordoned off, but residents are asked to remain cautious.
“We don’t have all of the information on it, we don’t know if it’s passing through, or it’s a young cougar that’s trying to find some hunting range,” said Danica Roussy, WildSafeBC community coordinator.
Roussy added that cougars found around humans tend to be younger, and inexperienced with hunting, or older animals that can no longer hunt as effectively in the woods.
“Cougars are wide-ranging animals, and they do occasionally show up in urban settings from time to time, even if they’re just passing through. It’s important that they do not find food that may encourage them to stay.”
Deterring a cougar, according to WildSafeBC, comes down to deterring their prey, and keeping pets safe and inside, which cougars may also eat. Keeping garbage indoors, taking down bird feeders, and feeding pets inside are effective ways of keeping wildlife away.
“Cougars are most active during the period from dusk until
dawn and this period requires extra vigilance by hikers while in cougar country,” said WildSafeBC. “Contrary to popular belief, cougars do not pounce on their prey from overhanging rocks or trees but employ a stalk of an animal and then an explosive series of bounds to leap on their prey.”
Once on their prey, cougars use their sharp claws and powerful jaws to quickly incapacitate and kill almost any prey they choose.
Any encounters with a cougar or a kill site should be reported to WildSafeBC or the conservation officer’s RAPP line.