COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – There has been a reported cougar sighting in the Lancaster Heights area of Comox.

According to resident Alyssia Simser, conservation officers  were sweeping the area this afternoon.

Resident Alyssia Simser told the newsroom that she and her family were walking along the path behind Quality Foods, when they were stopped by a conservation officer who told them that there was a cougar spotted in the area.

Just after 4:30 p.m., Simser said officers were sweeping with dogs along the area by Lancaster Park, the swamp, and the path and neighbourhoods behind Quality Foods.

The newsroom has reached out to B.C. Conservation for confirmation.

WildSafeBC offers the following tips if you encounter a cougar.

  • Keep calm.
  • Make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the cougar in view, and allowing a clear exit for the cougar.
  • Pick up children and small pets immediately. Never run or turn your back- sudden movements may provoke an attack.
  • If you notice that 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.
  • If a cougar shows aggression, or begins following you, respond aggressively in all cases as cougars see you as a meal: keep eye contact, yell and make loud noises, and show your teeth.
  • Pick up nearby sticks, rocks, or whatever you have at hand to quickly to use as a weapon if necessary – crouch down as little as possible when picking things up off the ground.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back, focusing on its facial and eye area.
  • Use rocks, sticks, bear spray, or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and are not prey.

Contact the COS Call Centre at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) if a cougar poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety.