A cougar was spotted in Port Alice today (May 25) on the dike, prompting a warning from the village.
A statement from the village office says people can stay safe on the trails by walking in a group and keeping pets on leashes.
Mike Newton, sergeant for the provincial conservation service on the North Island, agrees and says pet dogs and cats are the most common target for cougars in areas where people live.
“Off-leash dogs are probably the non-natural prey that’s at most risk, or house cats that are outside, so we encourage people to keep their house cats inside for a variety of reasons,” he says. “Off-leash dogs as well, specifically on trails at dusk or dawn when cougars are likely to be most active.”
Newton says people should also avoid feeding wildlife in their backyards, as it gathers prey in one location for cougars and increases the risk of negative interactions with the big cats.