It was Laurie Tomin’s first encounter with a cougar and one she was not expecting.
Tomin was working in her home near Cowichan Lake Road Friday night when she says she heard a terrified squeal from one of her puppies just outside her window.
“I jumped up and I looked out the window and I saw a cougar with a puppy in its mouth and the puppy was dead. It was limp,” said Tomlin.
The cat had jumped over a barb-wired fence and grabbed the pup. Tomin says it was the first cougar she’s seen despite living on the island for 14 years and spending lots of time outdoors.
She ran outside and some neighbours quickly came over to help retrieve her puppies. One bear sprayed the cougar near the dead pup before the feline escaped.
A neighbour captured footage of the cat soon after crossing his property.
“They’re not supposed to be this close and the cougar is just doing its thing. It’s just being a cougar right? It’s as innocent as one of these puppies,” said Tomin.
Sgt. Scott Norris with BC Conservation says in this case the cougar was acting quite naturally and the cats don’t differentiate between wild and domestic animals. Norris says while it does raise their concern about this cougar animal owners should consider installing electric fencing.
Tomin says she doesn’t want any harm to come to the feline but she wants people to be aware of this attack and the potential danger.
“It’s losing its territory and it’s coming closer to us and I guess it’s something that we have to talk about on the island because we do have a high density of cougars here,” said Tomin.
The animal was spotted by another neighbour Saturday morning who said the cat appeared agitated and not able to see well. It hasn’t been spotted nearby since.
Earlier this month a Nanaimo man had to protect his dog after a cougar attacked it while they were walking near Woss.