Investigation wraps into cougar shot by VicPD after decapitated head is taken and returned

Investigation wraps into cougar shot by VicPD after decapitated head is taken and returned
Victoria Police handout image
A Victoria Police officer caught a picture of the cougar the morning of Nov. 21, 2023.

The head of a cougar that was shot by a Victoria Police officer in the Selkirk waterfront area was taken then returned, according to the BC Conservation Officer Service.

Conservation began looking into the cougar head being taken, and has since concluded its investigation.

In a statement to CHEK News Friday, one person received a written warning for the unlawful possession of wildlife under the Wildlife Act.

“The cougar head was promptly returned to the COS,” the statement says. “The individual was co-operative throughout the investigation and expressed remorse for their actions.”

After the cougar was shot by VicPD, it is believed it was brought to a City of Victoria facility.

CHEK News reached out to the City of Victoria to ask if it was brought to a Victoria facility, and if the cat’s head was intact when it was brought to the City of Victoria facility. A spokesperson declined to comment because the “city cannot comment on specific personnel matters.”

On Nov. 21, police and conservation were called after a cougar was seen in a Victoria neighbourhood, with a school nearby. The cougar was first seen in the morning then conservation officers left the area after it had been several hours since it had been seen.

Almost 11 hours later, the cougar was seen again, then Victoria Police officers found the cat, and made the decision to shoot and kill the cougar.

READ PREVIOUS: Police shoot cougar seen wandering Victoria neighbourhood

Following the death of the cougar, animal activists decried the killing and said police officers should carry tranquilizers to use in these situations.

READ PREVIOUS: Animal activists say police should have tranquilizers, not guns for wild animals

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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