Cougar on the prowl in Okanagan Landing

Published on February 20, 2021 by Okanagan Journal

Gord Nixon/Global News

Lake Country resident Gord Nixon says he’s concerned about local kids and pets after seeing a cougar on his security camera — twice so far this month.

Nixon shared footage with Global News of the big cat prowling on his Okanagan Centre Road West property around 10:30 p.m. Feb. 16.

In response, the District of Lake Country shared tips from WildSafeBC:

  • If you encounter a cougar, keep calm and never run.
  • Make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the cougar in view, and allowing a clear exit for the cougar.
  • Pick up children and small pets immediately. Older children should be kept close and in front of you so that you can ensure they remain calm and don’t try to flee.
  • Never run or turn your back as sudden movements may provoke an attack.
  • If you notice that a cougar that is watching you, maintain eye contact with the cougar and speak to it in a loud firm voice. Reinforce the fact that you are a human and not an easy target.
  • If a cougar shows aggression, or begins to follow you, respond aggressively.
  • Keep eye contact, yell and make loud noises. Never ‘play dead’.
  • Without crouching down, pick up nearby sticks, rocks, or whatever you have at hand to quickly to use as a weapon if necessary.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back, focusing on its facial and eye area. If you have bear spray, discharge it. Use rocks, sticks or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and not prey. If you are in a group, stay together to fend off the cougar attack.