Sitting in their car on Bear Mountain, Harmonie Spalding and Katerina Chuvashova did not expect to get an up-close look at a cougar.
The pair were near Laird’s Gate in Chuvashova’s car when they saw a cougar in the distance, so they started recording.
“I’m really scared,” Chuvashova said in a video posted to Instagram.
“I don’t think it can break a window. Can it?” Spalding asks. “If we get really, really scared, just turn on the car, OK? Because that’ll scare it.”
They both recorded as the cougar got closer and closer to their vehicle, then it walked right next to the passenger side of the car.
“You can see from the video that it started walking straight for us. It started walking towards the car. So we were definitely getting a little bit nervous,” Spalding said in an interview with CHEK News.
Chuvashova says the pair were torn between wanting an up-close look from the safety of the car, but also being scared of the proximity of the dangerous cat.
“We were trying to stay still, and we were trying not to spook it because we wanted to see it up close,” Chuvashova said. “It’s kind of surreal, then outside, and then be in the safety of the car. And then seeing the cougar after. Because it could have been the other way around.”
Both women say this encounter is a good reminder that wildlife share the area.
“I’ll definitely be more aware when I’m out hiking or walking around,” Spalding said.
At the end of the video, the cougar disappeared into the forest at the end of the road, an unforgettable walk for Spalding and Chuvashova.
The incident has been reported to the BC Conservation Service.