The forested ravines in Port Alberni are home to all sorts of wildlife, but recently cougars have been seen increasingly out in the open right in the city.
“Like even in neighbourhoods, right in backyards and on the sidewalk and stuff like that and it scares me.”
“It’s a bit of a concern of course, you know cougars can be dangerous of course.”
That’s how some people living near the upper end of Argyle Street are feeling this week after two young boys encountered a cougar in this forest near 14th avenue.
“We received a report that a couple of children in the Port Alberni community were potentially chased by a cougar out of the woods.”
Turns out the boys were not exactly chased out of the woods but still the cat’s activity is getting the attention of conservation officers.
“Getting too familiar with people so in a sense it is crossing that line and it’s showing some concerning behaviour at this point.”
It’s not known if this is the same cougar but it’s an example of how some brazen some cats are getting. This was in the Bruce and 7th area, the cat coming right up to the house and close enough for Val Startup to get some good photos.
“And he turned when my husband clapped and I took the picture. and then I took a picture of it running across the lawn back into the gully.”
“And I’m almost thinking about you know if I walk him up there by the tree line sometimes I wish I would have a stick.”
Terry McKean always has a stick. He’s seen a cougar twice in the same woods where the boys saw a cougar.
“I’ve seen him twice, both times int he gully down here. Just looking for food, that’s all. They’re not looking for trouble, they’re just doing what they do.”
Conservation officers say they are waiting on more reports on this specific cougar, before they take any further action.
“Those are very important for us to receive so we can accurately monitor its activities. Unfortunately a lot of reports are being made on social media.”
He says in many cases, claims made on social media end up being false.