January 15, 2016 - 11:30 AM
KELOWNA - A spate of recent cougar sightings, mainly in East Kelowna, are nothing much to worry about, if you’re a human being.
If you’re a chicken, on the other hand, you might be more concerned about recent bobcat sightings and two confirmed raids on local chicken coops.
Conservation officer Terry Myroniuk confirmed some of the sightings, discounted others but said none of them were out of the ordinary for behaviour or location.
“We’ve had infrequent sightings in and around Gallagher’s Canyon and upper Crawford but that’s normal for them to be there. That’s where the deer are,” Myroniuk says. “The good news is they don’t seem to be lingering, they’re moving on."
Cougars that start hanging around one particular area tend to become problems, Myroniuk says.
“We become concerned when they stay in one spot and start showing an interest in pets or people.”
Bobcat sightings are also up, Myroniuk says, with two recent reports of attacks on chicken coops in Ellison and Joe Rich.
“Bobcats are zero threat to people, literally, but they are a threat to cats and deadly on chickens,” he says. “If they get into a chicken coop, they go into a frenzy and will kill the whole coop.”
Myroniuk says the owner of the chicken coop in Ellison lost over two dozen birds, although he doesn’t consider the attacks to be abnormal behaviour.
“They are just doing what they do,” he adds. "They are really beautiful animals and there has never been a confirmed bobcat attack on a human.”
While some of the recent cougar sightings proved false — one was a dog with really big feet — Myroniuk still encourages people to report sightings as it helps the Conservation Office monitor animal behaviour and movements.
“We don’t want to stop people from being concerned, especially if they look like they could be dangerous,” he says.
You can call 1-877-952-7277 to report dangerous wildlife in urban areas.
To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at email@example.com or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016