Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cougar Update from Parks Canada


Cougar destroyed after stalking Cox Bay Beach visitors

TOFINO, September 17, 2011 – Parks Canada, in partnership with the Province
of BC and the Tofino RCMP, destroyed a cougar at approximately 5:30pm
today, that posed a significant risk to public safety.

Earlier in the day, the cougar exhibited stalking behaviour toward several
adults on Cox Bay Beach. The popular beach extends from Pacific Rim
National Park Reserve to various resort properties.

A wolf and cougar advisory has been in effect in the Long Beach Unit of
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, including Cox Bay Beach since August
13th due to an increase in carnivore activity in the area. The advisory
remains in effect since there are likely several different cougars involved
in recent activity.

Kennedy Lake day use area remains closed to the public, but all other areas
of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are open.

Parks Canada would like to thank resorts and property owners within Cox Bay
for their efforts this afternoon to reduce beach use while officials
responded to the cougar incident.

Parks Canada continues to ask the public to advise us on any wildlife
sightings. For sightings in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, please call
1-877-852-3100 and for those outside the park please call the Conservation
Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 with any specific details regarding the
time and location of the sighting and information about animal behaviour.

Parks Canada would like to remind the public of the following safety tips
for visiting wilderness that is shared by cougars:
- Keep dogs on a leash at all times
- Never approach a cougar
- Carry pepper spray and an airhorn

On first sight of a cougar:
- Take aggressive action to scare it away immediately
- Do not run
- Maintain eye contact and create as much noise as possible
- Wave arms to appear larger- Pick children up
-Use pepper spray and airhorn if available

Dave McVetty
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

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