Home / Breaking News / Cougars Are Not Safe Anywhere In BC

Cougars Are Not Safe Anywhere In BC

Young cougars fall victim to BC’s ongoing war on wildlife.

On November 25, 2016 two cougar kittens were killed in Ocean Falls, BC.  They were shot on a private dock while consuming a seal that they had killed.  Unable to drag their catch away from the area, they remained nearby.  This made them easy targets when Conservation Officer  Steven Hodgson was sent from Bella Coola to destroy them.

Ocean Falls is an abandoned mill town on the west coast of British Columbia.  Accessible only by boat or seaplane, it’s current population is 28.  That population swells to 150 during fair weather months, when American and out-of-province tourists descend.  Derelict buildings provide wildlife with easy shelter all year.

BC Cougars
Credit: Robert Berdan,

Three complaints were called in to the Conservation Office within a short period of time concerning a cougar family that had been living nearby for a year.  The complaints came from two residents and workers at a Marine Harvest fish farm.  The two conservation officers had no trouble finding the young animals, or obtaining permission from the dock owner to access them.   After killing the kittens the COs spent the night at Ocean Falls in order to find and kill the mother the next day.  The bodies of the healthy young animals were left on the dock that day, to lure or warn the mother.  It is not known at the time of this writing if they found her.

In September the BC Liberal government announced a policy to no longer relocate large carnivores.  From a September 3, 2016 Times Colonist article: ‘The policy, which had not been changed since 2001, brings the procedures for conservation officers in line with what they were already doing. “It was basically catching up with reality,” [Mike] Badry [Wildlife Conflict Manager, MoE] said, adding that conservation officers were on board with the revision, with other stakeholders such as provincial biologists and the wildlife veterinarian [Helen Schwantje] consulted.”

bc cougars
Credit: Gladys Miller

“A seen cougar is a dead cougar” in populated areas has become an accepted, if controversial, concept. There is an undeniable need for public education regarding our indigenous wildlife in urban areas.  That a healthy family of cougars can be shot dead in remote BC simply for catching and consuming thier natural prey near a handful of nervous residents and temporary workers is a crime against nature.  These animals deserved a chance to consume the prey that they could not drag away.  Extremely shy and cautious of human presence, they deserved a chance to leave the area on their own time.  They were not afforded that opportunity, which highlights the need for wildlife education for those who choose to visit or live in remote BC.

BC cougars
Credit: Gladys Miller

Kelly Carson

Victoria Animal News

President, BC Deer Protection Society

 

About Kelly Carson

Kelly Carson is the founder of DeerSafe Victoria and president of the B.C. Deer Protection Society. Kelly is a contributor to the Victoria Animal News with years of writing and news release experience. She is a life long animal activist and advocate in Victoria and abroad.

Check Also

Pets OK BC

Pet-friendly Housing Advocates to Eliminate “No Pets” Clauses

Pets OK BC argue that current legislation is discrimination. BRITISH COLUMBIA – The BC SPCA …

5 comments

  1. I DO NOT expect my tax $$$ to support asinine wildlife policies such as this … IMO
    we are in environmental and wildlife crisis mode here in B.C. with Christy Clark and
    this bloody Liberal Party steering the ship … our supposed Environment Minister Mary
    Polak included.
    A few of the incidents that occurred under their watch … mine toxic tailing ponds bursting
    open and releasing tremendous amounts of liquid toxic waste into the environment … the
    Shawnigan Lake water supply fiasco … this incident with the cougars … support of Grizzly
    Bear Trophy hunting when they are aware statistics demonstrate economical
    tourism brings in more revenue … a Conservation Officer taken to task and demoted due
    saving the lives of two bear cubs after his superiors (all the way up the chain of command)
    making the wrong call .. and it goes on and on … if I saw any wildlife requiring assistance
    the LAST people I would contact is those charged with looking after their welfare ie the BC
    Conservation Service … Christy Clark and her Liberal Party have turned our B.C. environment
    and wildlife into a $$$$ free-for-all … the consequences be damned!

    She and her B.C. Liberal Party are a disgrace and embarrassment … I will do my damnedest
    to ensure they DO NOT GET RE-ELECTED.

  2. All the CO’s seem to be “conserving” is the hunting and fishing industries. If there is no human angle to benifit from, they’re not interested,

  3. I have been subjected to this regularly in Port Alberni and am fed up with it. We live in a natural environment and it’s up to us to get along with wildlife not obliterate it. Animal lovers will know who to vote for next time.