(files) A cougar has been spotted in downtown Pitt Meadows.

More cougar reports in downtown Pitt Meadows

Leash pets and keep them indoors, warns conservation officer

Cougars have been known to approach a house window where a household pet can be seen.

The Conservation Officer Service is asking Pitt Meadows residents to make sure their cats and small dogs are kept indoors, and to keep the latter on a leash while walking them as there have been multiple reports a cougar in the city core.

“The city has received reports via social media that there have been cougar sightings near the city centre in Pitt Meadows. Conservation officers continue to monitor the situation,” said social media post by the City of Pitt Meadows on Tuesday.

That followed a post on June 28 about a cougar sighting near the city centre.

Nicole Caithness, a conservation officer in Maple Ridge, said the service needs to hear such reports from the public.

So far there have been only two reports about cougars, and not from witnesses, but those in social media.

Witness reports will help determine if a predator has moved on or is still in the area, Caithness said.

It is also unusual behaviour for a cougar to linger in a backyard or urban area.

“Any time one is hanging around, we want to know about it,” she added.

Caithness said the big cat has likely left the area. Caithness added, if confronted by a cougar: make yourself big, back slowly away, never turn and run.

• Find more best practices at wildsafebc.com.

• Report cougar sightings to the B.C. Conservation Office at 1-877-952-7277.



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