Cougar on prowl in east Maple Ridge

  • Jan. 18, 2011 6:00 a.m.

A cougar was spotted prowling near homes in east Maple Ridge last week.

The wild cat was spotted walking on a driveway off 256th Street near 128th Avenue around 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

Ridge Meadows RCMP were called but the cougar left the area before officers arrived.

Supt. Dave Walsh said the cougar did not harm any person or domestic animal.

Thursday’s encounter was one of several in the neighbourhood reported to police and the conservation service over the past year.

In mid-December, a cougar was suspected in the death of a pony.

Last summer, two pet goats were killed by a cougar, who was tracked eventually tracked and shot by a conservation officer.

• To report a conflict with wildlife that threatens public safety call 1-877-952-7277 .

Cougar encounters

If you encounter a cougar:

• Stay calm and keep the cougar in view.  Pick up children immediately – children frighten easily, the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack.  Back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape.  Make yourself look as large as possible. Keep the cougar in front of you at all times.

• Never run or turn your back on a cougar. Sudden movement may provoke an attack.

• If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively.  Maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noise.  Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons. Crouch down as little as possible when bending down to pick up things off of the ground.

• If a cougar attacks, fight back. Convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey. Use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes.

– Ministry of Environment