2 young cougars shot and killed in PoCo park after dangerous encounters

Official says the only option was to destroy the animals after a leashed dog was attacked, pet cats were killed and a conservation officer was stalked.

Conservation officer says leashed dog was swiped at, pet cats killed, and officer stalked

Two juvenile cougars were shot and killed in a Port Coquitlam park. (Fotolia)

Two juvenile cougars were shot and killed by a conservation officer in a Port Coquitlam's Chelsea Park after taking a swipe at a leashed dog and stalking the officer.

"They were displaying abnormal behaviour toward the officer… and there was evidence the cougars had preyed on domestic cats in the immediate vicinity," said Sgt. Conservation Officer Todd Hunter. 

"Given the totality of the circumstances... we decided that the only option was removal."

Hunter said it's likely the young cougars were siblings and had recently left their mother to strike out on their own.

"Generally at this time of the year we start to see cougars like that, where siblings stay together and get into trouble in residential areas," he said. 

"These animals are apex predators, top of the food chain, they're designed by nature to hunt and kill their prey, that's what they predominantly rely on for food sources, they're meat eaters." 

Hunter says conservation officers have to make quick decisions where cougars are concerned.

"We can't have those cougars in a residential area," he said. "What people can do is not attract any wildlife to their property, including the smallest level — vermin, skunks, raccoons. It just brings the whole food chain and eventually it brings the predators."

With files from Yvette Brend

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