Cougar on the prowl

A cougar has been spotted in Penticton and residents of the area should be on alert, according to Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen WildSafeBC coordinator Zoe Kirk.

The cougar was seen on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in the upper area of Duncan Ave — a common spot for wildlife.

“Those areas of Penticton, upper Duncan Ave and Carmi are very good cougar habitat,” Kirk said. “In that area, a couple years ago, a female cougar and her kittens had to be destroyed because they had been crossing over people’s thresholds, going after their pets and living under their porch.”

Kirk also reminds residents that cougars are carnivores.

“The people that live there are blessed because they live close to nature but they are in the position of seeing animals move through there, like cougars and bears, going after their natural food sources,” Kirk said. “In the case of a cougar, deer are their number one food source.”

“Last year it was a sheep that was killed up in that area, it’s going to attract all sorts of wildlife.”

It’s important everyone living in the area where the cougar has been spotted be aware of their surroundings.

“Keep your pets indoors, especially at dawn and dusk,” Kirk said. “Making sure to travel in groups, making sure that you aren't putting yourself in harm's way by knowing you have a cougar in your area.”

“You want to take those precautionary measures.”

Kirk recommends residents purchase dog spray, to take it with them on their walks.

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