There have been numerous reports of a cougar in the residential area between Queen Victoria Hospital and the Selkirk Saddle Club. The reports that have surfaced over the last 10 days include both sightings and of people hearing cougar calls, Bear Aware Coordinator Sue Davies said Monday, August 24.
“Cougars are usually relatively rare to see, owing to their nature of being a stalking animal,” she said in a statement. “In most cases it is they who see us rather than the other way round. For so many people to have actually seen this animal means that it is relatively bold. The area is inhabited by a small band of white tail deer, which are favourite prey for cougar, and may have attracted this animal to the area.”
Cougars are also blamed for the periodic disappearance of cats and dogs in Arrow Heights and Davies said that at least one pet has recently gone missing. Last year, a cougar killed and ate a pet behind its owners’ residence on Alpine Lane.
There is also at least one cougar on the west side of the Columbia River.
Zofie Humphreys told The Revelstoke Current that one day in the past two weeks she heard her dog barking up a storm at their home over on Begbie Bench and when she looked out the window to see what was up she spotted a cougar demonstrating some real interest in her pet. The animal took off when she stepped outside and made some noise that startled it.
Mountain lions have, in the past, also been spotted or their tracks found in the Illecillewaet Greenbelt. And during a Glacier Challenge Softball Tournament about seven years ago one was seen on a ball diamond at Centennial Park late at night. The animal was later seen on Fourth Street East.
Davies is asking anyone who has seen or heard one of the big cats to report their to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. It is important that the Conservation Officer Service be able to track sightings of this animal to determine if it is just behaving as a normal wild cougar, or if is it developing unnatural behaviours that may cause it to be more of a threat to people or pets. Report any sightings to the RAPP line to assist with tracking the behaviour of this animal.
Fortunately, bears are proving to be less of a concern in Revelstoke this year.
“There has been an excellent crop of berries this year and this has taken some of the pressure off the town,” Davies said. “However, purple plums are just about to become ripe in town and it is essential to harvest them to ensure that bears don’t move in and start feasting.“
If you have fruit you can’t manage or know of someone who needs help harvesting, call the Gleaning Project, and its volunteers will help with the harvest transport the excess fruit to the Community Connections Food Bank.
If you have a tree that you cannot harvest, or if you want to help with the harvesting (and get to take home lots of fresh, local fruit) please send an e-mail to email@example.com or call Sue Davies on 250-837-8624.
Bear Aware would like to thank Columbia Basin Trust, CP Rail, Bresco Industries, BC Hydro, Revelstoke Credit Union, Revelstoke Community Foundation, BC Gaming, and Parks Canada for their support of the Bear Aware Program.
For more information about reducing conflict with bears please see revelstokebearaware.org. To receive and share valuable local information about bear and cougar activity in Revelstoke, please like and follow Bear Aware on Facebook at Facebook.com/revelstokebearaware. To report bear sightings or conflicts with bears please call the 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952- RAPP (7277).
Click here to read about a 2014 cougar alert issued after one of the big cats killed and ate a dog behind a residence on Alpine Lane.
Click here to read about 2012 sighting near Begbie Falls.