Recent cougar sightings in the river valley

The Conservation Officer Service in Williams Lake is warning people there have been cougar sightings in the River Valley.

“I got a call Sunday that some people were walking up the trail below the Comer Station when a cougar started following along out of the bush line,” Sgt. Len Butler of the Conservation Officer Service said Monday. “Not real close, but not really backing off.”

The cougar wasn’t stalking them but followed them for quite a ways up the hill.

After the man in the hiking party threw rocks and waved his arms, the cougar finally trotted off.

“It’s the second call we’ve got about the river valley,” Butler said. “It’s not like they are crouching down with ears back, they just seem to be more curious than anything.”

Butler and his staff haven’t seen the cats for themselves yet so they aren’t sure of their ages, but he said he wanted to let the public know cougars are being seen in the area.

People need to be diligent when walking to keep pets close and make lots of noise, he suggested.

“For the most part they are following the deer and this year we have lots of rabbits. We have also received calls about cougars up at Esler.”

Cougars are curious so it’s important to do the right thing.

Do not turn and run, Butler said. Always stand facing the animal and make yourself as large as possible.

Anyone seeing a cougar or bear is asked to call it in to the RAAP line at 1-877-952-7277.

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