Local conservation officers are confident they’ve dealt with a cougar that had been hanging around the Williams Lake River Valley Trail.
Sgt. Len Butler of the Cariboo Chilcotin BC Conservation Service says he received a call Saturday morning from a bow hunter who had shot the cougar with an arrow.
“It was above the log dump below the golf course,” Butler says.
“It seems this cat had been wandering between there and the River Valley Trail back and forth and from the descriptions we received about it we think it’s the one.”
On Saturday morning the bow hunter, who was on a mountain bike, noticed the cougar stalking him.
The bow hunter waited, but the cougar kept coming closer, so he shot an arrow and wounded it.
Two coyotes played a role in indicating where the cougar went in the bush after it was shot with the arrow.
“They kept it in the bush. They were a good indicator of what was going on in the bush. It’s the first time we’ve had that type of interaction with coyotes.
“They weren’t going in after it, but they were definitely keeping it in the bush for some reason. We brought hounds in and three to five minutes after the hounds went in there, we found the cat and put it down,” Butler says.
Relieved that they were able to put the cougar down because it was showing an interest in anything that moves, Butler adds it’s unfortunate because it was healthy.
“Public safety is number one. You’re always going to see cats in this area. It’s just that when they start stalking people there’s only one thing that’s going to happen. We’re going to be removing the cat.”
Cougar complaints continue to be received by his office; however, Butler says the first complaint about this particular cougar didn’t come in until well after the first sighting.
“We went down into the river valley as soon as we got the call and found a mule deer kill that it was feeding on, so it was doing normal things. But when it gets too close for comfort, and now that it was wounded, we could successfully take it out.”
Butler describes the cougar as a male, around 80 to 90 pounds.
“It was a young cat, in good shape. It was definitely following the deer and eating well.
“There were no signs of it being in rough shape,” he says.