West Kelowna  

Conservation officers say slain cougar was 'severely emaciated'

Cougar starving, killing legal

A Castanet reader who saw our story on a cougar attack near Bear Lake Main Road, reached out to share photos he took of an emaciated cougar laying on the side of the road just a few kilometres away from where the attack occurred four days later.

"We saw it lying on the side of the road (Sept. 18), passed by about ten feet away and took a few pictures with my iPhone."

The passerby wants to remain anonymous but he tells Castanet he was hunting in the area and hadn't seen a cougar in the wild in 20 years. "Unfortunately that one... I think back, 'should we have done something to save the dog?' I'm not going to shoot an animal that's laying on the side of the road."

There is no way to know for sure if this is the same cougar but the unnamed hunter says he was concerned for the animal at the time and he contacted the BC Conservation Officer Service to make them aware of the animal.

Rob Duffus, spokesperson for the BCCOS tells Castanet they are aware of the video online that shows a man killing a cougar that was attacking his dog.

"We recognize the footage is graphic and can be distressing for many people and the incident, which took place at a remote campsite near West Kelowna on Sept. 22, was reported to the RCMP and the COS, via the RAPP line," Duffus says.

The BCCOS launched an investigation, which included interviewing the victim, witnesses and inspecting the site and the surrounding area.

Duffus says, "the investigation determined the cougar was lawfully killed. The adult female cougar, which had porcupine quills in its mouth, was severely emaciated."

The investigation concluded the victim was at his campsite when the cougar suddenly ran towards his two large-breed dogs, attacking his Golden Retriever.

Duffus says, " it's not unusual for a cougar to view a dog as a food source. Roaming pets can be easy prey for cougars, so the public is reminded to keep them leashed."

The unnamed hunter echoed Duffus' comments, "all nature has a place, this was bad timing and people out with their dogs should take care in the wild because there are animals like this."

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