Tuesday, September 30th12.0°C

Cougars in your backyard?

Three cougars have been killed, another is still on the hunt, in an area of Vernon north east of Swan Lake.

It is believed the cats are all from the same family.

Conservation officer, Terry Myroniuk, says people in the Keddleston and McLennan Road areas should be on the lookout for the cougar which appears to be familiar with humans and their pets.

"The advice we are giving is keep all pets indoors if possible, particularly at night. If there is an opportunity to bring smaller livestock into night pens it is a good idea to keep them safe as well," says Myroniuk.

"They appeared to be actively hunting and targeting in this area."

Earlier this month, Myroniuk says three cougars, all about one year old, were killed after attacking or stalking family pets.

He says on Sept 21, a woman called conservation believing her dog had been taken from her yard, presumably by a coyote.

"Later in the afternoon she was in her property and the dog's carcass fell from a tree. She looked up and saw a cougar there.

We responded to the area and euthanized the animal which ended up being a sub-adult female."

Later that same day, Myroniuk says conservation received a call from a resident on the same street about 1.5km away from a person who indicated a cougar was on her property stalking her dogs.

"In the area where the cat was seen stalking the second dog, there was a sighting the next day of the cat in the same yard. Given the fact it was hanging around we responded and located two sub-adult cougars on the property that were shot as well," says Myroniuk.

Myroniuk believe the three dead cougars were likely siblings hunting together.

He says they likely learned about the proximity of pets and humans from their mother.

The cougar, conservation is warning people about, could be either a fourth sibling or the mother.

Myroniuk says the risk to pets from this cougar is quite high, however, the risk to humans is very low.

Anyone who spots a cougar is asked to immediately call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

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