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Horse 1, cougar 0, in attack near Summerland

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March 15, 2016 - 8:00 PM

PENTICTON - A cougar attack on a horse probably left the cougar the loser, says Penticton Conservation Officer Jim Beck.

The conservation office received a late report yesterday, March 14, from a livestock owner in Summerland’s Garnet Valley of a cougar attack that occurred last Wednesday or Thursday, March 9 or 10.

“The person wasn’t aware of it, but the delay is substantive. It’s something we need to hear about promptly, if we are going to take any action,” says Beck about the incident.

He said injuries to the horse were relatively minor, considering it was likely a cougar attack. Beck said the wound patterns were consistent with a failed attempt by a cat on a horse.

“The horse does have a couple of puncture wounds and a tear that has caused a detached muscle on the inside of the leg, requiring veterinary care,” he says.

Beck adds there hasn’t been any further reports of sightings of the cat since the attack. He says the conservation office won’t be taking any further action at this time other than to provide area residents with information about potential cougar activity.

“Chances are, this failed cougar attempt on this horse has resulted in some injury to the cougar,” Beck says. “Generally, the horse is jumped on from the back, and if it isn’t a clean attack, the cat’s going to get kicked quite severely.”

Beck says that’s probably what happened in this case, and the cat is either badly bruised or injured to the point where the cat isn’t interested in attacking a horse anymore.

Beck says cougars don’t normally attack full grown horses.

“Cougars are generally quite efficient predators that focus their efforts primarily on deer,” Beck says, adding a cougar did take down a horse in the Twin Lakes area earlier this season. In that case, the cat was located and killed.

“It’s a pretty big animal for a cougar to attack,” he says.

“Chances are, this cat is not going to pose a threat to anyone else’s livestock. If it’s not seriously injured or dead, it’s going to be a lot more careful about attacking stock,” Beck says, noting Garnet Valley is surrounded by deer habitat, which naturally attracts cougars to the area.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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