NANAIMO, B.C. – Mounties in Nanaimo, B.C., shot and killed a cougar that has been spotted prowling in the area for weeks.
RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien says they received numerous reports of a cougar roaming the docks and fish-cleaning station around the Nanaimo Yacht Club early Wednesday.
He says it’s believed the animal had some interactions with people in the area and was showing no fear of humans.
O’Brien says the officer took the safety of the public into consideration when they shot and killed the animal, which then fell into the water.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service had recently set up several traps on nearby Newcastle Island in an attempt to capture a cougar alive, which the service’s Stuart Bates says was likely the same animal.
Bates says they were “trying hard to avoid” killing the cougar, but because the animal showed no fear around humans the officers had little choice.
He noted that Mounties don’t carry tranquilizer guns.
“Even when you tranquilize an animal it can take 20 minutes before the drugs kick in. So even if I was there, I would never have tranquilized a cougar next to water like that. The chances of him getting the dart and falling in the water are way too high and it can run a long way in 20 minutes.”
(Nanaimo News Now)