Two women jumped into Kalamalka Lake to escape a cougar at the north end of the Okanagan Rail Trail.
North Okanagan Vernon RCMP Const. Chris Terleski said on Wednesday, Nov. 23, around 5 p.m., police received a report that two people were being followed by a cougar along the rail trail in Coldstream.
“At one point, the two women entered the water to get away from the animal after it continued to approach them,” Terleski said in a press release.
“Coldstream Fire Department personnel responded and assisted in locating the pair.”
Terleski said the incident is believed to have occurred a few kilometres along the trail from the entrance at West Kal Road.
The cougar was not located and the BC Conservation Service has been advised of the incident.
Sightings of cougars and other wild animals should be reported to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.
Cougar attacks on humans are rare, though they may view children or small pets as potential prey.
Wildsafe BC advises people travel in groups, keep dogs on leash, make noise such as wearing bells when on trails and carrying bear spray.
If someone does come in contact with a cougar, they are advised to slowly back away without turning their back to the big cat, make themselves look large as possible and try to avoid sudden movements.
Sightings of cougars should be reported to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.