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Kelowna  

BC Conservation says the cougar said to be roaming Kelowna hasn't been seen for days

Live cougar trap removed

BC Conservation says the cougar that was reportedly roaming around the Rutland area has not been seen in over a week.

Cougar traps were set up in an area of Rutland near Sylvania Crescent and Leathead Road two weeks ago after several residents had reported that a big cat got a little too close for comfort.

BC Conservation's Ken Owens says the cougar trap was set up on October 30th after it was spotted out during the day.

Residents say they saw the cat attempt to attack a dog in somebody’s backyard.

"We have had no new cougar sightings in the Rutland area since Oct 31. [The] live trap is no longer set in area and people are still reminded to take precautions to protect pets and be aware of cougar safety guidelines provided earlier," Owens said.

The BC Conservation Officer Service provided the following information for people who encounter a cougar:

STOP – Pick up all small children immediately. Do Not Run. Sudden movement may provoke an attack. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. SPACE and DISTANCE. Never approach a cougar at any time for any reason especially if it is near a kill or with kittens. Cougars will normally avoid a confrontation. Always give a cougar an avenue of escape. Prepare to use your bear spray.

STAY CALM - Talk to the cougar in a confident voice. Maintain eye contact with the cougar. DO Not Turn Your Back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.

APPEAR LARGE – Make yourself look larger than the cougar. Do Not Bend Over or Crouch Down. Raise your hands hold your coat open. Move to higher ground if nearby. Throw sticks, rocks, branches or other objects if within reach.

BE PREPARED – bear spray, noise maker and walking stick; these can be used for protection in the event of an encounter. Cougars can be attracted to dogs. So it is best to have your dog at home. If you do travel with a dog keep it close and on a leash at all times. Carry a cell phone to call for help in the event of trouble.

If a Cougar Behaves Aggressively

If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively. Maintain eye contact, show your teeth and make loud noises. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons. When picking up objects crouch down as little as possible. Prepare to use your bear spray.

If a cougar attacks FIGHT BACK - Convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey. Many People have survived cougar attacks by fighting back by using anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists and fishing poles. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes. If you’re knocked down, get back up. NEVER PLAY DEAD with a cougar.

The Conservation Officer Service is reminding the public when sighting a cougar or experiencing cougar pet/livestock depredation the importance of immediately calling the Conservation Officer Service’s 24/7 call center Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) toll free line at 1-877-952-7277, cellular dial #7277 or on line at www.rapp.bc.ca.



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