BC Cougar Attacks Info & Stats

Although this appears to be a busy year for cougar-human conflict,= in British Columbia, in fact, it is not unusual when compared to other years.

Between April 1 and Sept. 7, 2011 – the busiest time of year for cougar sightings – the Ministry of Environment received 1,362 complaints about cougars. By comparison, the ministry received:

  • 1,854 complaints in the fiscal year 2010-11.
  • 2,242 complaints in 2009-10.
  • 1,792 in 2008-09.

To date, 43 cougars have been killed in 2011 – 27 by conservation officers (COS) and 16 by others such as the RCMP or members of the public. During a similar period (April 1 – Sept. 30) in 2010, 49 were killed – 34 by COS and 15 by others, and in 2009, 68 were killed – 40 by COS, 28 by others.

Action by COS, where warranted, immediately follows confirmation of a cougar conflict wherever possible. A cougar is destroyed when it acts unusually aggressive toward humans and poses a risk to public safety.

Although a cougar attack is highly unlikely, it always pays to be prepared. Information and awareness are your best defences:

  • Don’t feed wildlife and avoid attracting prey species such as small mammals, raccoons, deer, etc. by properly managing garbage and other attractants.
  • Hike in groups, not alone.
  • Carry bear spray.
  • Ensure children do not play in wooded areas or hike on trails alone.
  • Keep dogs on leashes, and smaller pets and livestock within enclosed areas.
  • If you encounter a cougar, stay calm and pick up small children and household pets.
  • Never run from or turn your back on a cougar.
  • Always give the cougar room to escape.
  • Face the cougar and raise your arms to look bigger.
  • If a cougar acts aggressively, speak loudly and firmly, and if possible, throw rocks.
  • If a cougar attacks, fight back.

 

 

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