Two cougars were euthanized after killing a miniature horse and a deer in Kelowna, prompting a warning from the conservation service.
The miniature horse and deer were killed by cougars near Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Park over the last two days, the Conservation Officer Service said in a press release.
Officers responded to both situations. In the case of the miniature horse, the service said the two “responsible cougars” were caught and euthanized. In the deer attack, conservation officers moved the deer carcass away from nearby residences.
Cougar alert signs are now up in the area.
“Cougars are normally nocturnal and typically prey on their available food source within the areas they live,” the Conservation Service said in a press release.
“This diet can include primarily deer which also live within the city of Kelowna. However, when humans occupy areas in or near wildlife habitat, and people choose to keep livestock such as goats, sheep chickens and miniature horses, cougar sightings and attacks on livestock and pets may occur.”
Read more: Cougar lunges at man and dog in Kelowna park
Domestic animals and pets are similar in shape, size, and smell to wild prey, and because of that cougars may attack.
“Cougars that have learned to hunt livestock and pets near residences, can threaten the safety of other livestock and pets in the neighborhood,” the Conservation Office said in a press release.
The Conservation Officer Service is reminding the public to prevent conflict with wildlife by not feeding them anything, smaller creatures included, because predators follow prey.
It’s also best to keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. Left outside at night, small dogs and cats may become prey for cougars.
Cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare, to obtain cougar safety tips and cougar facts visit the wildsafe website.
If there’s a cougar sighting, call the RAPP line1-877-952-7277