A segment of trail in Brackendale remained closed on Wednesday (Oct. 10), but will likely be re-opened by the end of the week if there’s no further evidence of an aggressive cougar in the area.
Conservation officers shot and killed a cougar in Dentville on Friday (Oct. 4) after it exhibited unusual behaviour, Sgt. Peter Busink of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said on Wednesday.
The cat that was shot in Dentville was similar in size to the one that was deemed “aggressive” after a couple of recent encounters in Brackendale, but officials aren’t sure whether it was the same animal, Busink said. Either way, authorities believe there have been at least two cougars roaming around town and that at least one is still out there.
Last Friday, authorities received reports of a cougar near the Squamish Adventure Centre and tracked the animal to a location in Dentville. Its behaviour led officers to believe it was habituated to humans and therefore a public safety threat, and decided to kill it.
“COs attended and drove around looking for it and found it lying down in a parking lot,” Busink said. “An officer walked up within 15 yards of it and it was indifferent to the CO. That’s behaviour that’s of high concern to the CO Service. It should be moving away when you’ve got a person walking towards it in a direct manner.”
Officers have been tracking a cougar in Brackendale for the past two weeks. A portion of the Ray Peters Trail along Ross Road in Brackendale remained closed as of Wednesday. If no further cougar activity occurs, the trail will likely be re-opened on Friday (Oct. 12), Busink said.
To report a wildlife encounter, phone the Ministry of Environment’s 24/7 hotline at 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on your cellphone.