Emilyn Lai/ Staff reporter
According to an article by CTV news Vancouver, 14-year-old Connor Seabrook had an encounter with a cougar while walking in Port Coquitlam on Tuesday night. He first thought it was a dog, but he realized it wasn’t when he heard a growl.
As Seabrook began to back away, the cougar followed him. “I was just trying to figure out the fastest way to the corner store safely without running” he said, not wanting to provoke the cougar. When he was able to reach the store safely and call his father, he watched the cougar cross the street into a local trail. Someone later was able to capture video footage and call 911.
Around 9 pm was when the BC Conservation Officer Service received the report of a cougar. They arrived with a hound team and were able to euthanize the juvenile animal. Neighbors from the area reported to CTV News Vancouver that gunshots were heard around midnight.
“We do see increased call volumes this time of year, but this bold behavior is not normal,” said acting Sgt. Alicia Stark of the BCCOS. There have also been two incidents of cougars attacking dogs this season, one being fatal.
Selin Hekimoglu is a grade 10 student in Coquitlam. She believes that “they could’ve somehow shooed it away back into the isolated wilderness instead of shooting it dead, since it seems like it was literally just roaming around.” Selin also thinks that in order to decrease the amount of wildlife attacks in BC, we should educate more people about what to do in similar situations and promote less littering.
Long time Tri-Cities resident Margaret Lai also agrees that we should be pushing for more education about the wildlife that surrounds us in BC.
The BC Conservation Officer Service is not sure why there has been such high cougar activity, but they are urging the public to report sightings as soon as possible. They are also asking the Coquitlam community to keep their pets on leashes and take precautions, especially while out at night.
Original article from CTV News Vancouver by Maria Weisgarber and Sheila Scott