November 24, 2015 - 11:02 AM
PENTICTON - Several cougar sightings have been reported in the last week and conservation officers are cautioning residents to be aware of wildlife moving into the city as winter conditions descend on the region.
Several possible cougar sightings in the past week are likely the result of cougars following their prey into city streets, Penticton Conservation Officer Dave Cox says.
“This time of year, there are lots of ungulates moving into urban areas, and their predators follow,” he says, noting the sightings this past week have all taken place within close proximity to the Penticton Creek corridor.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, Cox attended the location of a cougar sighting near the Penticton Yacht Club, where a resident reported his dog had treed a cougar. By the time Cox arrived, the large cat had disappeared though.
Yesterday, Monday, Nov. 23, two sightings were reported in the upper Ridgedale Avenue and Penticton Avenue areas.The first call was from a woman at approximately 1:30 p.m. who saw a cat crossing Penticton Creek near her home.
The second sighting was from a resident reporting his dog having treed a cougar in the same vicinity around 3 p.m. The sighting was reported to police, Cox says, but the conservation service did not attend.
“In none of the instances was there an indication of threatening or challenging behaviour by the cougar,” Cox says, noting the sightings appear to be of a solitary animal of unknown age.
There have been no reports of pets being killed or having gone missing. He says the the conservation service continues to monitor the area, hoping the cat will go back to its normal habitat.
Cox advises residents to keep their pets on leash when outdoors, and to use extra caution during dawn and dusk periods. He urges residents to report all sightings to the RAPP hot line at 1-877-952-7277.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015