File photo of a large adult cougar spotted in a residential yard on Vancouver Island in April. A resident of Harrison Hot Springs said he found a cougar in his yard at 10 p.m. on Aug. 2 with a dead cat in its mouth. (Cory Betz/file photo)

File photo of a large adult cougar spotted in a residential yard on Vancouver Island in April. A resident of Harrison Hot Springs said he found a cougar in his yard at 10 p.m. on Aug. 2 with a dead cat in its mouth. (Cory Betz/file photo)

B.C. man comes face-to-face with cougar that killed his cat

Harrison Hot Springs resident concerned no warnings were issued after sighting nearby two days prior

When Craig Caignou heard a noise Wednesday evening outside his trailer near Harrison Hot Springs, he thought it was his cat wanting in.

He opened the door and saw Casper alright. But she was dead in the mouth of a cougar.

“When I got out, it was five to eight feet away, standing there looking at me,” Caignou said. “I had to grab my other cat by the scruff of its neck.”

Despite the light he was holding and the presence of a human so close, the cougar didn’t spook.

“It didn’t run away when I was right beside it. It just sauntered off.”

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirmed this was the second sighting of a cougar in Harrison Hot Springs in recent days, although Caignou’s encounter isn’t listed as a “sighting,” but rather a conflict.

The first sighting was on July 31 by a resident on Miami River Drive who said a cougar was on the trail looking at her housecat through a chainlink fence.

When the BCCOS gets a report of a cougar, they try to ensure it’s actually a cougar and not a bobcat, which is a common mistake, said conservation officer Hana Anderson.

In the case of the sighting and the conflict in Harrison, Anderson said it’s consistent not only with it being a cougar but with normal predatory behaviour.

“There have been no sightings of it during the day, which is a good thing. It’s acting like a natural cougar. A cougar isn’t going to necessarily know the difference between a racoon or a housecat. It looks like natural prey.”

And while the Village of Harrison Hot Springs has posted signs around about the cougar in the area, Anderson said there isn’t much more they can do since the cougar is behaving normally.

“The most important thing for people to do generally to protect their pets from any predator is to secure them, especially at night,” she said.

As for Caignou, he’s upset a warning wasn’t issued after the July 31 sighting.

“If Harrison had brought out a warning when they had first seen one, my cat would probably be alive.”

The interactive Wildlife Alert Reporting Program site shows reported sightings and conflicts across B.C.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dust advisory is in place for Quesnel. Residents are asked to be careful near heavy traffic areas. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel under dust advisory

High levels of dust in the air can be dangerous for people with COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

A tree near the Sword Avenue baseball diamond was felled by high winds. The diamond is planned to be decommissioned by the city of Quesnel. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel planning on shutting down ballfields

City council hopes maximize the usage at West Fraser Timber Park and Barlow Creek

Cookies were available to celebrate the grand opening of the North Cariboo Seniors’ Council in Oct. of 2020. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel seniors’ group to get COVID-19 funding boost

City council approved giving the North Cariboo Seniors Council $100k in provincial grant money

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

Most Read