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Brazen cougar destroyed in Pemberton

Conservation officers destroyed a pet-killing cougar in Pemberton on Tuesday, Oct. 4.



Officers were called to the Creekside development across from One Mile Lake on Saturday when the cougar came in to the townhouse development and killed a cat. The next day, the cougar snatched a small dog while the pet’s owner stood nearby. Uncharacteristically of the secretive hunters, both attacks occurred during daylight hours.

"At that point we determined that the cougar was making a pattern of killing pets and decided to bring in tracking dogs," explains conservation officer Chris Doyle. "We located the remains of a dog that had been fed on and then buried. The dogs treed the nearby cougar and the animal was subsequently destroyed."

Described as an immature male in "not great shape,", the cougar was approximately 100 lbs. While cougar attacks on people are rare, Doyle says that smaller cougars have been known to attack humans. However, cougars commonly attack and kill house cats when alternate sources of food are not readily available.

"Primarily they eat deer, so it may be that there aren’t enough deer to support the cougars in the area. Or maybe this cougar was a poor hunter," speculates Doyle. "It might have been feeding on domestic animals for a while. We don’t know."

The conservation officer advises pet owners to not allow their animals to run free in forested areas, particularly at night.