Feature Creature: Cougar

Justin Shoemaker wikimedia commons

There have been several cougar sightings around Oliver and Summerland in the past few weeks and we thought it would be a good time to talk about these amazing and elusive predators. Cougars, also known as mountain lions or pumas, are BC's largest wildcat averaging 100-125lbs and can measure up to 9 feet in length including their tails. These cats are incredibly shy and reclusive and encounters with humans are rare. However an increase in prey species, like deer, around populated areas is leading to an increasing number of interactions with humans.

Here are some tips to avoid an encounter:

Be alert: Keep your eyes open for when you are out in natural areas.

Watch for sign: Tracks, scent piles, food caches (carcasses covered in leaves, dirt and debris) and scratches on trees are all signs of recent activity. Learn how to identify these signs and avoid areas where they have been recently observed.

Avoid: Avoid attracting prey species

Keep pets on a leash: Dogs can be a great first warning of intruders but can also be prey for these large cats. Be sure to keep pets indoors at nightTo learn more about cougars and what to do in the unlikely even of an encounter please visit Living with wildlife in BC