A woman out for a run at a Colwood park Friday was confronted by a cougar that stalked her until she found safety, West Shore RCMP say.
The woman called 911 around 5:40 p.m. after clocking the cougar at the bottom of a staircase in Latoria Creek Park, where it was only several metres away from her, according to Mounties.
A 911 call-taker told her to stay calm and speak to the cat gently while also directing her “to walk backwards up the stairs and to the nearest home,” RCMP said in a news release.
“The call-taker stayed on the phone with the woman, who was very upset and worried about the situation.”
Police think the woman’s headlamp may have attracted the cougar, which followed her up the stairs before fleeing once near houses.
“The call-taker then remained on the line with the woman keeping her calm and [providing] life-saving guidance and directing her to seek safe shelter,” said Cst. Nancy Saggar, media relations officer for West Shore RCMP.
The woman gained shelter at a house near the 400-block of Pelican Drive, according to Saggar, who went on to credit the E-Comm call-taker for “an amazing job” quickly dispatching officers to the scene.
Despite RCMP efforts patrolling the area on foot, Mounties say the cougar was not found.
Both the B.C. Conservation Officer Service and the City of Colwood are aware of the incident, and police are urging people to check the B.C. government’s website for tips on what to do if encountering a cougar.
Scary moment in Latoria Creek Park this evening when a cougar followed a woman out for a run. Shout out to our @EComm911_info Call Taker for providing life saving guidance, staying on the phone with the woman and dispatching officers to the scene. https://t.co/37PYwvIrRk
— West Shore RCMP (@WestshoreRCMP) November 19, 2022