Cougar chills out on east Maple Ridge deck

Lounges on patio before being chased off by conservation officers

A video taken in Whonnock, in east Maple Ridge, Sunday of a visiting cougar shows it lolling about on the front patio like a big house cat.

But Kevyn Helmer knew it was no pet and kept safely inside as he livestreamed his encounter with the cat in the afternoon at 287th Street, in Maple Ridge.

“Our cat will be an inside kitty from now on!” he said on Facebook.

Posted by Kevyn Helmer on Sunday, December 30, 2018

Conservation officers arrived at the house in the 9800-block at about 3:45 p.m., said Conservation Office Service spokesperson Todd Hunter.

They found the cougar, about 36-kilograms, resting on the patio, leaning up against sundeck door of a house.

Conservation officers considered either shooting or tranquilizing the cat but there was no safe place to do that, Hunter explained. Eventually, the cougar just took off into the woods unharmed.

Hunter said that cougars can be attracted by any movement they see within a house. “They’re very curious and they’ll come and check it out. Numerous times we get that,” he said Monday, adding that happens with bobcats as well.

“That’s one of the main attractions to hunt their prey, is movement.”

While the cat ran back into the woods, Hunter said they’ll be keeping an eye on the area. “We deem it as odd behaviour. It’s not always natural behaviour for them to come right up to a house.”

People should keep pets and food indoors if they’re backing on to a natural area, in Maple Ridge, he advised. “People do need to keep in mind, there’s wildlife just beyond their yard.”

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