Local wildlife groups are reminding Colwood and Metchosin residents about how they can steer clear of unwanted wildlife interactions after several recent incidents.
A cougar was spotted attacking livestock in Metchosin on Jan. 20, with the BC Conservation Officer Service confirming that one goat was killed by a female cougar.
The BCCOS says that because there were no other reports of cougar encounters in the area within the past six months, and because the cougars did not appear to show interest in feeding on the goat carcass, that it is not actively pursuing the cougars.
Instead, conservation officers are monitoring the area to determine “if a behaviour change takes place or if the animal returns to naturally prey exclusively.”
Incidents of bears accessing unsecured garbage have also gone up recently in Colwood.
Wild Wise Society president Mollie Cameron says that securing both livestock and garbage is important to keeping away wildlife.
“Coexistence is possible if we all participate. Wildlife does not understand human conveniences, they are simply trying to survive,” she told CHEK News on Friday
“They [cougars] simply see an accessible food source. Securing our livestock is both necessary and a good practice for responsible animal husbandry,” she said.
The BCCOS says it also gave farmers in the area tips on how to protect livestock in “semi-wilderness areas where predators are known to frequent” after the Jan. 20 attack.
Meanwhile, Cameron says that the best way residents can prevent attracting bears is to purchase a bear resistant bin, keeping garbage in a garage or a shed and refraining from putting garbage out until the morning of collection.
Leaving garbage out that attracts wildlife can also lead to more than just sightings.
“Leaving attractants [like garbage] out that could attract dangerous wildlife is an offence against the Wildlife Act and could subject residents to fines,” said Cameron.
For now, both Wild Wise and the City of Colwood are asking residents to keep securing their garbage.