While conservation officers hope the Protection Island cougar will leave the island on its own, a live trap has been set up to catch the cat.
Conservation Officer Andrew Riddell says he met with Protection Island residents Thursday morning, and later set up a live trap “in hopes of capturing the cougar overnight or in the coming days.”
If the cat is caught, conservation officers and the provincial veterinarian will assess its condition and decide where to relocate it along with provincial biologists.
He says he has seen cats swim from Newcastle Island to Protection Island during low tide before, but he’s not sure if that’s where this cougar came from.
“All reports right now are that it’s preying on natural food sources and our hope is that it leaves the island naturally by itself,” Riddell said.
If island residents encounter the cougar, the are advised to make lots of noise and walk away backward and call COS right away to help inform whether the trap needs to be moved.
Until the cougar has left the island, it is recommended to walk in groups, keep children in eyesight, and keep pets inside.
At this point, Riddell says, there is no sign the cougar has changed its behaviour or started stalking people or pets.
-With files from CHEK’s Keith Vass