A conservation officer was able to successfully tranquilize a cougar found in the backyard of a home on 230th Street in Maple Ridge on Sunday.
Conservation Officer Chris Miller said he got a call at about 3 p.m. about a big cat in a back yard. The homeowner’s golden retriever had chased the predator, and it hid under a hedge along a fence.
Miller arrived to find a big, healthy, male mountain lion, of approximately 140 pounds.
He said there was no recent history of wildlife conflicts involving a cougar in the area, which is an urban subdivision. He said there was no surrounding green space, where the animal could easily escape.
“We didn’t know much about this cat, other than that he arrived in a bad spot.”
Because the cougar appeared to be in good health, he determined to shoot it with a tranquilizer dart, and relocate it.
There were no other CO’s within a 90-minute drive, and he was assisted by Ridge Meadows RCMP officers. They cleared streets and nearby backyards on 230th and Gee Streets, in case the cougar decided to run after being hit by the dart.
Miller was able to successfully dart the cat. It lunged across the yard, but soon fell asleep.
Without a live bear trap, he wrapped it in the straps of a wildlife blanket and secured the animal in the back of his pickup.
The BC Conservation Officers Service does not disclose where they release wildlife, but it was an area Miller described as “a suitable wilderness area in the Lower Mainland.”
Miller asked that if people see wildlife in an urban area, they call 1-877-952-7277 to report their sighting.
Wildsafe BC warns that if anyone encounters a cougar, they should stop, stay calm, do not turn your back, and do not run. Maintain eye contact, look big, yell, be assertive, and back away slowly.
For more tips see wildsafebc.com
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