‘Elevated concern’ over backyard cougar in Campbell River


WATCH: A cougar has been seen strolling through Campbell River yards. Dean Stoltz reports. 

Attia Walcot says she was just about to eat lunch last month when she saw a cougar prowling around her backyard in broad daylight.

“I was just about to eat lunch and I saw a cougar.”

When she told her parents who were sitting nearby that she was looking at a cat, they didn’t quite clue in.

“And they said, like ‘the neighbour’s cat’ and I said ‘no, a cougar cat,'” Attia Walcott said.

A big cougar was prowling around their Steelhead Road backyard. Her dad began recording it on his cellphone while her mom made sure the dogs were inside.

The cat spent about five minutes in the yard, right near the swing set where the kids had just about gone out to play on.

“The kids were actually going to go play outside a couple of minutes before we spotted the cougar and then Attia decided she wanted to eat before she went out, thank God,” Kristen Walcott said. “But yeah, just watching it walk through the sandbox and past their tree fort was a little unsettling.”

The cougar then spotted the family looking at it through the window and can be seen on video staring back at them before it finally leaves.

“Yeah I thought it was neat, you don’t get to see that very often,” Charlie Walcott said. “Probably a good chance it was looking for a cat or a small dog or something like that.”

Conservation officers say they have had other calls about a cougar in the area. They say this specific cat has likely been desensitized to people and the fact that it was out, probably hunting at 11:45 in the morning elevates the concern.

Officers add there have been reports of missing pets in the neighbourhood.

The Walcotts realized what they witnessed with their own eyes is pretty rare.

“I’ve driven past two, and seen them in zoos but never seen one up close,” Charlie said.

“Yeah I think it was pretty cool but scary,” added Attia.

They say they’ll still play in their backyard but they’ll be sure to have their German Shepherds close by.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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