Aggressive cougar spotted on trail

Ladysmith’s well-used Holland Creek Trail was closed Monday (Aug. 11) after a dog chased away a cougar.

Ladysmith’s well-used Holland Creek Trail was closed Monday (Aug. 11) after a dog chased away a cougar exhibiting aggressive behaviour the day before.

Conservation officer Troy Sterling confirms that a cougar came up the slope directly at two people and a dog walking on the trail Sunday afternoon (Aug. 10).

“When the dog noticed the cougar, the dog chased the cougar away,” he said. “The people believe if the dog wasn’t there, [the cougar] would have attacked. It was focused on them and had aggressive behaviour. It wasn’t stalking them but was coming right at them.”

This occurred around 3:30 p.m., and Sterling says that is unusual behaviour, as cougars usually come out at dusk or in the evening hours.

Sterling says there have been six other reports of cougars in that area in the past two months, and the cougar may have turned toward people because it could be sickly or malnourished.

According to Sterling, it is “quite possible” that all the reports are of the same cougar because the animals do have territories and they do defend them, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

“It’s most likely the same cougar, but I can’t be sure because we don’t have real good descriptions from the other six reports,” he said.

Conservation officers weren’t able to bring in hounds on Sunday to search for the cougar because it had been too long since the report and the time they determined it was an aggressive cougar, and the animal’s scent dissipates faster in such hot weather, explained Sterling.

Now, they will wait for reports from the public, and if they get a fresh sighting, they will hopefully be able to get the hounds in to search the area if the report is made quickly. Because of the cougar’s aggressive behaviour, it will probably be destroyed once it is found, explained Sterling.

If anybody runs into a cougar, Sterling recommends they make themselves look big and place other people on their shoulders, make eye contact with the cougar because it may see that as a threat and back away, do not run, do not scream, and back away slowly if you can. If you have a cellphone, call the Conservation Office at 1-877-952-7277 or call 9-1-1 if you are in danger. Sterling encourages people to carry bear spray or an air horn and to avoid travelling alone.

Based on the conservation officers’ advice, the Town of Ladysmith closed the Holland Creek Trail Sunday until further notice, confirmed city manager Ruth Malli.

Malli notes that the conservation officers say this incident is a reminder that the Holland Creek Trail is a corridor for wildlife.

“There’s obviously more concern because of this animal being aggressive,” she said. “It’s a good reminder to all of us.”

Malli encourages the public to visit the Town’s website at www.ladysmith.ca for updates on the status of the trail.  As well, the website www.wildsafebc.com offers information and a mapping database of all dangerous wildlife complaints received by conservation officers.

 

Just Posted

It’s a lovebeat at Daponte’s Valentine’s Day show

Heavy snow outside blurs the lines of exactly what occasion was being celebrated

Here’s what the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce does for you

Chamber of Commerce Week is February 18 to 22

North Cowichan asked to participate in program to cut human-wildlife conflicts

Ladysmith partnered with WildSafeBC to have acommunity coordinator educate residents

Ladysmith Camera Club takes photography to the streets

Photography club hostinga session on photographing urban life

Ladysmith-Chemainus weight loss coaches know what works first-hand

Bev Robinson and Marilyn Mons are living proof of what works

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read