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Blueberry residents urged to keep pets indoors after cougar sighting

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
February 2nd, 2012

A massive cougar apparently made a pit-stop in Blueberry last weekend, which is only one of many good reasons for residents to keep their pets indoors.

Area resident Colleen Kalnins said she was preparing to go to bed Saturday night when she saw the big cat.

“It was about 11 p.m. and I was turning out my lights,” she said. “I looked out the window and saw something standing in (my neighbour’s) driveway. At first I thought, ‘God, that’s a big dog’.”

She said it took her only seconds to realize what she was really looking at, as there was a streetlight nearby and the area was well-lit.

“He was standing in the driveway, right outside my neighbour’s door,” she said. “He (or she) was sitting very still and quiet, like my cat does when it’s stalking something, and that made me nervous.”

She said she yelled at the beast, to no effect, then started clapping her hands as well, at which point the cougar loped away.

Kalnins said she’s never seen a cougar in the area before, but a quick check of the neighbour’s yard the next day revealed paw prints the size of a man’s fist.

Local Conservation Officer Blair Thin said this has been a good winter in terms of cougars.

“During late winter/early spring last year, I had to shoot three cougars,” he said. “This year, there have been none.”

That should not, though, in any way deter residents from keeping pets indoors, as there are other predators roaming about.

“It could be a coyote, a bobcat, a bear … for them, pets are just tasty little snacks on four legs,” he said, adding they’ve received a report of a cat being eaten by a coyote in Blueberry this season.

To report a sighting of an animal that may pose a threat to the public, call the Castlegar Conservation Office at 250-365-8611 or 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP)

Categories: General

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