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Cougar spotted in Whistler residential area

Conservation officers also get reports of big cat activity in Squamish



Conservation Officer Simon Gravel has confirmed a cougar spotting in Whistler by a resident over the holiday period.

Two reports of a cougar in Squamish that came over two consecutive days aren't as solid.

The Whistler cougar was seen in the Alpine Way area. Gravel said the Whistler resident who spotted the cougar saw it run into the forest away from the homes in the area.

The conservation officer is grateful for the reports to the conservation officer reporting line.

"He did the right thing," said Gravel of the decision by the residents of Squamish and Whistler to report the animals they saw. "It is good to report cougar activities in the urban area."

The reports of a cougar in Squamish occurred in the Garibaldi Estates area but Gravel said he isn't totally certain the two Squamish sightings were in fact of a cougar. While he isn't sure about those two sightings Gravel said cougar tracks were spotted in the snow above Quest University.

"It is really not unusual to see cougars, coyotes or a wolf in that area," Gravel said about the tracks in the snow. "There are no concerns but it is a good reminder that we are surrounded by wildlife."

Gravel noted that cougars are always on the move. He added that no aggressive cougar behaviour has been reported so there's no worry at this point of any people being in danger.

Anyone interested in learning more about cougar safety is encouraged by Gravel to check out the Facebook page created by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service as he said a list of safety tips can be found there.

To report a cougar sighting in a residential area or to report any other wildlife concerns, Gravel said a call should be made to the Conservation Officer Service reporting line at 1-877-952-7277. The line operates 24 hours a day.