A cougar that attacked and killed a dog in Lumby has been euthanized.
The Conservation Officer Service (COS) Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line received a report related to a cougar attacking and killing a dog on a property in the Shuswap River Drive area of Lumby on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 5:18 p.m.
Conservation Officers with the assistance of agency K-9s attended the property on the morning of Jan. 21, 2019 and determined a cougar had attacked and killed a one-year-old female border collie dog. The attack had occurred directly next to a private residence.
“The quick action by our complainant allowed for Conservation Officers to respond with three agency K-9’s in a timely manner,” said said Ken Owens, a conservation officer.
The Provincial K9 Program, a division within the COS, is invested in trained K9’s to assist COS staff in addressing human-wildlife conflict to protect human health and safety.
“Cougars are intelligent animals that learn to hunt through positive experiences. A cougar that has learned to hunt pets and livestock near residences can threaten the safety of other pets and livestock in the neighborhood. As a result a cougar may attack domestic animals that are similar in shape, size and smell to wild prey, ” said Owens.“The difficult part of a Conservation Officer’s job; the removal of wildlife from the population is never an easy thing to do. Conservation Officers assessed the situation carefully to determine the likelihood of the animal re-offending and or surviving.”
He said that, in this case, it was determined the cougar was likely to attack again and Conservation Officers elected to euthanize the offending cougar, which was located a short time later near the attack location.
British Columbia’s cougar population is estimated to be between 7,000 and 8,000 animals which exceeds all other jurisdictions within North America. Cougars prefer deer, but if allowed, they also eat pets and livestock. In extreme rare cases, even people have been attacked by cougars.
The Conservation Officer Service report line has received 18 cougar calls in the Lumby area since April 1, 2018. In August 2018 a cougar was also verified in killing four goats on a property along the Shuswap River Drive area.
Conservation Officers are asking the public to keep a watchful eye on their pets and to report human-wildlife conflict occurrences to the RAPP line: 1-877-952-7277.
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