If they are passing through it is important they do not find food that may encourage them to stay. Attacks by cougar are rare but can be fatal, especially if young children are involved. In all cases you must fight back as cougar attacks are always predatory and the cougar sees you as a meal. Use rocks, sticks or whatever you have at hand to protect yourself.
Deer are one of the cougar’s primary food sources. When deer are abundant in the area, especially in winter, then there is a good possibility to find cougars in the same area. They are “spot and stalk” hunters and extremely good vision. Cougars are secretive animals and are seldom seen by hikers.
If you see a cougar that is watching you, maintain eye contact with the cougar and speak to it in a loud firm voice. Reinforce the fact that you are a human and not an easy target. Back out of the area and seek assistance or shelter.
Cougars are most active during the period from dusk until dawn and when in conflict, are usually young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt efficiently or, are older cougars that can no longer hunt in the wilds.
There are a number of things that you can do to keep cougars away from your neighbourhood, such as:
Call the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service toll free at 1.877.952.7277 to report any incidents with cougars.
The WildSafeBC website and the Safety Guide to Cougars published by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy are great sources of information about cougars and how to keep safe.