Trail cameras in Kanaka Creek Regional Park picked up a cougar on the prowl late last month.
Ross Davies of the Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society said there are cameras in the park to monitor wildlife. He posted the photos in social media this week.
He was not willing to disclose where the animal was photographed, in part for the safety of the animal. It is also irrelevant, he said.
“These cats can cover a lot of ground in a day. A cat in Albion could be in Ruskin later the same day,” he said.
Davies also does not want people to be worried about wildlife, noting cougars and bears are commonly spotted in eastern Maple Ridge, and could be encountered anywhere in the Kanaka Creek area.
Big cats have been in the news recently. Conservation officers issued a warning to home owners after a cougar attack on a small dog on Tuesday night in Coquitlam, and there have also been recent sightings in Port Moody and Anmore. A dog was attacked on a trail at Buntzen Lake last weekend.
Davies advises people in Kanaka Park to avoid the trails at dawn and dusk as a good way to avoid cougars, who are most active at night. And, they should keep pets on a leash, particularly small dogs.
If they are confronted by a cougar, he said people should never run or display “prey behaviour.” Rather, they should look directly at the animal, make themselves big, yell at the cougar in a big voice, throw a rock or stick, and generally “convince the cat you’re a predator too.”
“Having said that, they are very shy of humans,” he noted.
Davies is an accomplished wildlife photographer, and well known for his pictures locally, but the three or four times he has seen a cougar, they have vanished before he could get a photo.
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