A cougar has been spotted in a Pitt Meadows park. (Contributed)

A cougar has been spotted in a Pitt Meadows park. (Contributed)

Cougar seen in Pitt Meadows park

Near BMX track, city issues warning

  • Aug. 1, 2018 3:20 p.m.

A cougar has been spotted near the BMX track in Pitt Meadows.

The city issued a warning about the cougar in in Cottonwood Park on Wednesday.

“A cougar has been spotted at Cottonwood Park, 17310 – 129 Avenue (near the BMX track) in Pitt Meadows,” says a Facebook post by the city.

Conservation officers have been notified.

“Should you encounter a cougar, stay calm, keep the cougar in view, pick up children immediately.”

The provincial ministry recommends to the most effective and natural way to prevent conflicts with wildlife in urban areas is to put garbage, birdseed, compost and pet food away, and to keep fruit from trees off the ground.

Communities where attractants are managed properly have less human-wildlife conflicts and fewer animals destroyed.

British Columbia has an abundance of wildlife and unsurpassed outdoor recreational opportunities. Many of us live in rural communities close to nature.

“Despite our best efforts, we can never eliminate the risk of human-wildlife conflict. We must all accept our responsibilities to ensure that humans and wildlife can coexist,” says the Environmental Protection and Sustainability.

“We must take necessary steps to reduce the risk of human-wildlife conflict in our communities, and when recreating or working outdoors.”

In the event that you encounter a cougar:

• Stay calm and keep the cougar in view, pick up children immediately. Children frighten easily and 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 and 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.

• 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. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and are not prey.