B.C. conservation officers have captured and killed a pair of cougars believed to be responsible for a series of recent attacks on pets and aggressive behaviours in the Lower Mainland’s Tri-Cities area.
A spokesperson for the ministry of environment said the two big cats were captured and euthanized Thursday night.
“We know the public was understandably concerned about cougar incidents in their neighbourhoods,” the spokesperson said in an email.
“While we recognize this is an unfortunate outcome, it was necessary as the risk to the public was far too great — these cougars were displaying repeated behaviour indicating they had lost their fear of humans and were comfortable living and hunting non-natural prey in an urban residential setting.”
The ministry said conservation officers had been “closely monitoring” the activities of the three cougars for several weeks, following a string of recent sightings and incidents.
“Throughout this monitoring, the risk to the community escalated based on the repeated behaviour of these animals, which included hanging around homes, a school and in yards during the day,” the spokesperson said.
Conservation officers captured and euthanized a third cougar Monday night.
Officials say they’ve received 82 reports of cougars in the Amore, Belcarra and Port Moody areas since April 1, 2020.
Three dogs have been killed and two others injured in the same area since Aug. 21.
Officers were called to Port Moody twice last week due to cougar incidents, and three cougars were seen in a residential area during daylight hours on Sunday.