Ty Archer had a near miss when a cougar walked in front of his car just south of One Mile Lake near Pemberton.
Archer spotted the wild cat at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Thankfully, he was able to slow down just in the nick of time.
He warned others to be careful of wildlife when walking in the area. Other locals warned a cougar has been spotted on the boardwalk around One Mile Lake at nighttime.
According to the BC SPCA, cougars keep to themselves if at all possible.
"Cougars are found throughout much of B.C. and are also known as mountain lions or pumas," the BC SPCA wrote on Facebook. "Cougars are generally very secretive and rarely seen. However, cougars may occasionally pass through urban settings, or when young cougars leave their parents, they start looking for their own sources of food and places to live. Sometimes they end up in urban areas, parks or hiking trails."
Cougar activity in the Pemberton area is not uncommon, and the animals are most active between dusk and dawn. According to WildSafeBC, cougars account for about 2,500 calls to the BC COS every year, but many of those reported sightings turn out to be other animals, not cougars.
The provincial government’s website lists guidelines on dealing with cougar encounters:
-Stay calm and keep the cougar in view, and pick up children immediately. Children frighten easily and the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack. Back away slowly, ensuring the animal has a clear avenue of escape.
-Make yourself look as large as possible and keep the cougar in front of you at all times. Never run or turn your back on a cougar. Sudden movement may provoke an attack.
-If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively, maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noise. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons.
-If a cougar attacks, fight back, convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey, and use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar's face and eyes. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, not prey.