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Cougar spotted in southwest Courtenay

COURTENAY, B.C- A midnight visitor to Esther Bergeron may have been hunting housecats.

Bergeron, who lives near the intersection of Willemar Avenue and 20 Street in Courtenay, spotted a cougar on her roof on Sunday night.

She told 98.9 The Goat that she saw the cat perched along her deck roof, spying it around 3 a.m. after hearing a noise through an open window. She believed that the cougar, which she estimated to be around six feet in length, was out looking for neighborhood cats.

“I think it should be known,” said Bergeron.

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“If I had a cat, I would want to know there was a predatory animal around. It was definitely hunting.”

The cougar left Bergeron’s residence without incident. The province’s conservation service later confirmed the encounter to 98.9 The Goat, and according to officer Gord Gudbranson, four other encounters have occurred in the Valley in April.

Three of the encounters were at Comox Lake, with one taking place at the boat launch near Cumberland. The cougar was chased under a vehicle by a dog, and was believed to be hanging around the nearby campground site, hunting housecats.

The other encounters were in Courtenay and Comox, which included Bergeron’s.

Gudbranson advised for pet owners to keep their pets inside at night and on a leash in greenbelt areas, as well as to keep livestock penned or inside paddocks during the night.

He also advised for anyone encountering a cougar to make themselves look bigger, and swing backpacks or sticks to scare off the animal while quietly leaving the area.

Anyone encountering a cougar exhibiting aggressive behaviour should call 1-877-952-7277.

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