Authorities have posted “cougar in area” signs around Alice Lake Provincial Park after a cougar attacked a dog on a trail in the park on the weekend.
Perry Omeasoo, who owns T-Bone with his wife Michelle Lebeau, said the attack occurred while the two were hiking near Fawn Lake on Saturday (Aug. 31) at around 11:30 a.m. Omeasoo was walking a few hundred metres ahead when his wife screamed that the dog, a 13-pound miniature pinscher, had been attacked.
T-Bone had been walking off-leash a few metres behind Lebeau when she heard a commotion and turned around to find a cougar attacking her pet.
“She started running towards the cougar,” Omeasoo said. “She was screaming, waving her hands and screaming at the cougar and T-Bone, and that’s when the cougar ran into the woods.”
The couple gathered the injured dog and took him to a vet, where he required surgery. He’s expected to make a full recovery, Omeasoo said.
“He looks like Frankenstein’s dog now. There were some big gashes, but no internal injuries,” he said.
In response to the incident, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service asked parks staff to post “cougar in area” signs and patrolled the area, unsuccessfully, looking for the cat, Conservation Officer Simon Gravel told The Chief on Tuesday (Sept. 3).
“We’re not interested in eliminating wildlife from the park. It’s a wilderness area. It’s where they live,” Gravel said, adding that officers would only take further measures if the cougar were to exhibit persistent, repeated aggressive behaviour.
Dogs should be kept on a leash when walking in the park, Gravel said. To report wildlife sightings or encounters, please phone 1-877-952-7277.