A cougar that attacked a small dog in Port Alberni earlier this week has been euthanized, according to the BC Conservation Officer Service.
Officers who tracked down the cougar Thursday night, following the attack a day earlier, said it was small and appeared to be injured before it was put down.
The animal was expected to be necropsied by a provincial veterinarian on Friday, BCCOS said.
Mark Payne said he let his dog Alaska outside of his home in the area of Timberlane Road when the cat pounced on his pet around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“The cat had Alaska wrapped up,” he said. “The cat was overtop Alaska, chomping at it, biting at her face, at her back, at her spine, at her neck. I just immediately went into fight mode.”
He managed to deal three blows to the cougar’s ribcage, causing it to let go of Alaska and focus on him.
Payne said the big cat then took off back into a nearby marsh.
“Young cougars will often target pets while they are learning to hunt and are sometimes drawn into urban areas by feral cats,” BCCOS said Friday.
The service is asking people in the area “not to feed feral cats as this artificially raises the population and can attract cougars thereby putting cougars in conflict with other pets and humans.”
Officials said it is “unfortunate” when officers must euthanize an animal, “but public safety is the highest priority.”
Conservation officers remained in the area Friday to make sure no other cougars were in the area.
Anyone who spots a cougar is asked to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.