District has posted signage in the Eaglewind Park following recent sightings of a cougar in the area. The sightings occurred on Thursday, November 10 and Friday, November 11.
There have been reports of cougar sightings in Garibaldi Highlands as well.
Follow the following best practices and know what to do if you encounter a cougar:
Be alert and aware at all times.
Avoid surprise encounters by making noise — i.e. use your voice.
Hike or bike in groups of two or more and keep children close at hand.
Keep dogs leashed.
Look for signs of fresh cougar activity — i.e. claw marks on trees or logs, scat or paw prints.
Avoid food caches: cougars will cover unconsumed portions of their kill with twigs, leaf litter or soil. If you come across a cache, leave the area immediately.
Slow down going around blind corners and make noise. Riding or running quickly and quietly puts you at risk for surprise encounters.
If you encounter cougar kittens, do not approach or attempt to pick them up. Leave the area immediately, females will defend their young.
Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
For your safety never approach a cougar, and always give a cougar an avenue of escape. Stay calm, and talk to the cougar in a confident voice.
Pick all children up off the ground immediately as children can frighten easily and their rapid movements may provoke an attack. Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.
Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.
Do all you can to enlarge your image. Don’t crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.
Please report all wildlife sightings and/or encounters to the Conservation Officer Service 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).