Kamloops teen has close call with cougar - InfoNews

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Kamloops teen has close call with cougar

Thomas Clark and his friend were on the Ida Lane trails yesterday, May 3, 2017 when they crossed paths with a cougar.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Thomas Clark
May 04, 2017 - 6:21 PM

KAMLOOPS – A local teen escaped a close encounter with a cougar completely unscathed and managed to capture a photo of a lifetime.

Thomas Clark, 15, lives near Ida Lane in Westsyde and frequently spends time riding bikes on the trails.

Yesterday around 4 p.m., Thomas and a friend were headed up the trail to work on a school project when they spotted a cougar a mere three feet away.

“As soon as I saw her she backed up right away. She was backed against the log and stayed there,” Thomas says.

He says a female cougar and her cubs have been known to frequent the area and believes the animal they saw was the same one.

He estimates he was about eight to 10 feet away when he pulled out his cell phone and took a couple photos.

His mother, Andrea Clark is proud of how the boys reacted, but isn’t surprised they ran into the animal. Once Thomas called Andrea, she told him to come back down the hill immediately.

“They did well. They didn’t panic or anything which was awesome,” she says. “What do you expect? We are in their habitat. Realistically you have to be aware of what’s around you and that it could happen at any point.”

While Andrea hasn’t seen any cougars in the area before, she says sightings are common and are often reported on the Westsyde community Facebook page.

The encounter didn’t really change Thomas’ view on the area and he says he will continue to use the Ida Lane trails.

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