A cougar was tranquilized and later euthanized in Port Moody Monday following numerous attacks and sightings in the area.
It is not known if this cougar was responsible for any or all of the attacks but the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said in a statement that numerous cougars have been spotted in yards and near people, showing no fear of humans.
There have also been daytime sightings of cougars near a local elementary school, which officers said is “highly concerning.”
“This behaviour indicates these cougars are highly habituated to human presence and comfortable living and hunting non-natural prey in a residential setting,” the service said in a statement to Global News. “This is an extreme public safety risk.”
Three cougars were also seen in a residential area of Port Moody during the daytime on Sunday.
Officers attempted to chase them away from the area but without success, they confirmed.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said from April 1 of last year to the present, they have received 82 reports of cougars in the Anmore, Belcarra and Port Moody areas.
Since Aug. 21, cougars have killed three dogs and injured two in the same area.
Offices were called to the Port Moody area twice last week after a cougar attack.
On Thursday, a cougar attacked and took off with a three-month-old German Shepherd puppy named Diez while his owner Isaac Heisler was walking him on a leash.
He said when the cougar lunged at Diez, he was able to try and pull the puppy back and kick at the cougar for about 45 seconds but the cat wouldn’t let go.
“I couldn’t fight anymore,” Heisler said. “It was very aggressive, it was very big.”
Heisler gave chase and flagged down a car to call 911 but said by that point he knew Diez was gone.
This attack followed one on Wednesday night when a cougar jumped out of the bushes and attacked a dog while it was on a leash.
Police said the attack happened when a resident of Foxwood Drive was walking her dog on a leash at approximately 12:40 a.m.
The dog’s owner rushed the animal to an emergency veterinary service but police confirmed the dog did not survive. The owner was shocked and upset but not physically harmed.
With more cougars in the area, the Conservation Officer Service said everyone should remain aware of their surroundings and keep cougar safety tips in mind, including keeping their pets inside at night and on a leash when walking.