By Vanessa Broadbent
The BC Conservation Officer Service is asking that any cougar sightings be immediately reported to them.
A cougar has allegedly been spotted in the Oliver area and BC conservation officer Dave Cox said a call was made at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday evening in the Tucelnuit Drive and Eastside Road area.
By the time he made it out to the residence, the animal was nowhere in sight.
According to the complainant, the cougar was spotted on the rooftop of a neighbouring home and then jumped off.
This kind of behaviour is “unusual” for cougars Cox said, but the description of the cat was accurate.
The call was the only one made. Cox said he was told about Facebook posts regarding sightings but no more people called to report the animal and he has seen no picture evidence.
He says cougars in the area are not uncommon.
“We have cougars that live around our area in the South Okanagan and everywhere we are is cougar habitat.”
However, Cox said cougar sightings during the summer are unusual. Normally, the animals spend the warmer months at higher altitudes.
“More commonly we have cat conflict in the winter months,” Cox said. “Snowpacks drive cougars down. That’s when we usually see cougar behavior.”
Cox said that it is possible that high deer populations could attract cougars to lower elevations and urban areas.
Pet owners are encouraged to always use leashes. If conflict with a cougar arises, Cox said it’s best to pick up small pets or children, make as much noise as possible, make yourself look bigger, and pick up anything that can be used as self-defence.
“If you ever found yourself in an attacking situation you want to fight back at all costs.”
If anyone spots a cougar in the area, they are asked to immediately report it by calling 1-877-952-7277.