Conservation officers dealing with three cougars spotted in Penticton - InfoNews

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Conservation officers dealing with three cougars spotted in Penticton

Penticton resident Mike Hanley says he took this photo of three cougars near his home on Cleland Drive Friday, Jan. 13, 2017.
Image Credit: Mike Hanley
January 13, 2017 - 4:40 PM

PENTICTON - Conservation officers are keeping a close eye on three cougars in a Penticton neighbourhood after numerous reports from the public.

Penticton resident Mike Hanley posted a photo to social media of the three cougars lounging under a deck of a home on Bashim Court in the Carmi neighbourhood today, Jan. 13. In the post, he said the cougars are about 100 metres from Columbia Elementary School.

Crystal Nohr, who also lives in the area, said in a Facebook post the cougars were in her backyard earlier today.

Penticton conservation officer Jim Beck says the cougars have been frequenting the area between Penticton Creek and Ellis Creek since the end of December 2016. The adult cougar has successfully been hunting mule deer in the area, with a kill found four days ago at the top of Okanagan Avenue East. 

He says yesterday was the first daytime sighting of the animals and today the office has dealt with multiple sightings.

Beck, who is currently monitoring the situation in the field, says the cougars are currently under the deck of a Bashim Court residence. He is hoping as darkness falls the cougars will make thier way out of the city.

"We have some concern for public safety. Once it gets dark, we'll put pressure on them with bear bangers in hope she will move out on her own," Beck says.

He also expressed concern the cougars may have a kill stashed under the deck, in which case it will have to be removed.

A decision to tranquillize the animals would be a wildlife branch decision, Beck says. Tranquillizing the cougars would not be an easy task, especially in light of the fact there are four of them.

"Tranquillizing is not an exact science. If we miss, it could kill them," he says.

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