There is a cougar in Whistler, but so far the animal has not threatened any humans or attacked any house pets. However, it has been seen in daylight in public areas, and caution is urged for residents, especially with small children.
There were two cougar sightings in the Spruce Grove area last week, prompting residents to put up posters. Then, on Tuesday, May 21 at 3:25 p.m., the RCMP got a call regarding a cougar sighting on the Valley Trail near Lorimer Road and Highway 99.
As of press time the cougar had not been seen again. A decision on whether to destroy or relocate the cougar will depend on how it acts around people, and whether conservation officers or police believe it poses any threat to the public.
While cougars are rare in Whistler, they do pass through the area. The last cougar killed in Whistler for behaving in an aggressive way towards humans was in 2007 after it growled at golfers from the bushes. In Squamish, four cougars have been destroyed in the past two years.
The Ministry of the Environment has posted information online on what to do if you encounter a cougar. Visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/cougsf.htm.
RCMP warn public of bike thefts
With the start of biking season also comes the start of bike thefts in the resort. Last season, during one rash of thefts in early July almost 30 bikes were taken. While the number of thefts dropped, they were still a regular occurrence with a few going missing each week through to October.
Many were taken from the backs of trucks and parked vehicles, and from secure underground storage units at strata buildings. Bikes were taken from private garages, sometimes after suspects broke into cars to activate the garage door openers, and some went missing from bike racks and balconies around the village — includes third-floor balconies the owners thought were inaccessible.
Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair is warning owners to take the time to secure their bikes this season.
"People need to lock up their bikes, and they need to write down their serial numbers," said LeClair. "And don't think they're safe on a second or third-floor balcony because we had numerous cases of people climbing up."
LeClair said that the RCMP would be making the issue a priority this year, and have stepped up enforcement measures against bike theft.
As well as protecting bikes, the RCMP is asking cyclists to ride safely.
"We would really like to see people in helmets, and not biking on sidewalks or through crosswalks," said LeClair. "People are encouraged to bike responsibility. Cyclists are best-served when they behave and act like vehicles."
Six excessive speeders lose vehicles
This past week the RCMP seized a total of six vehicles for breaking the province's excessive speed laws, driving at least 40km/h over the posted limit. The penalty includes a $368 ticket, three points and a seven-day vehicle impound at the owners' expense.
On May 26, a police radar checkpoint pulled over three vehicles in an 80km/h zone near the Callaghan Valley Road. A 45-year-old Vancouver male was stopped going 140km/h, a 26-year-old West Vancouver male was travelling 130km/h, and a 25-year-old Vancouver male was clocked at 126km/h.
On May 27, the police pulled over three more vehicles in the same area. An 18-year-old from Squamish was driving 131km/h, a 31-year-old Delta man was driving 128km/h and a 32-year-old Surrey male was driving 130km/h.
Man damages police cell
On May 25 and 11:55 p.m. the RCMP received a call from the 2300 block of Brandywine Way that an intoxicated male was acting aggressively. The RCMP attended and found the individual and took him to the Whistler Health Care Centre for an assessment. After he was cleared, the RCMP arrested him for public intoxication and took him into custody.
The individual became agitated and aggressive and damaged the fire safety system in his cell, causing it to explode and spray water. He was taken back to the Whistler Health Care Centre for another assessment then returned to a different cell.
The individual was charged with mischief released on a promise to appear.