WATCH: They are rarely seen during the day and even less in residential areas. But one curious cougar appears to be exploring one Vancouver Island neighbourhood, and it’s all caught on tape. Mary Griffin explains.
Frank Williams thought it was just an ordinary Wednesday.
“So I came out here on my way to my vehicle for lunch and noticed some lady across the street with her camera out. It looked like she was filming me, or something,” Williams said.
He wasn’t sure what the woman was filming. Then he saw it.
“I see the cougar right there. By that purple bush. And it pokes its head up, and we make eye contact,” Williams said.
Homeowner Alex Kolver checked his surveillance camera video, and sure enough, a cougar was in his front yard.
“As you can see, it’s appearing in that left hand side of the screen,” Kolver said.
After its encounter with Williams, the cougar ran up the street. It’s broad daylight, in a residential area. Not the usual habitat for a cougar.
“I worked in Alberta in the bush for 15 hours a day for five years. I see maybe three times, a cougar. But they come in the middle of the city in your front yard? That’s very rare,” Kolver said.
But the same cat makes an appearance Tuesday in this Metchosin back yard.
Conservation Officer Peter Pauwels said this cougar is displaying different behaviour than the Lake Cowichan cougar attack in late March. That’s when a young cat jumped in a backyard and attacked seven-year Zachary Bromley. His mother, Chelsea Bromley, climbed on top of the cat, pried its jaw open, before carrying her son into the house. Both suffered bite wounds in the attack.
“The cougars in the Lake Cowichan attack were very young. They were only three or four months old, and they were without their mother. This cougar in the video is older. It’s not as concerning as if you had orphaned kittens running off by themselves,” Pauwels said.
Here is it again Tuesday night, exploring another house on Colwood’s Portsmouth Street.
Pauwels advice is if you encounter any cougar; give it lots of space, don’t approach it. Allow it to leave on its own and it will.