A badly injured, two-year-old male cougar was shot by conservation officers less than a block away from an elementary school in B.C.'s interior.

The cougar had several bite marks on its neck and shoulders, and a severely damaged paw when it was found hunting near Kidston Elementary School in Coldstream near Vernon, B.C., Tuesday morning.

"It certainly bumps the public safety issue when you have an injured cat hunting in an area close to an elementary school," said conservation officer Sgt. Josh Lockwood.

"[The cougar] would have become a danger to the public because it was not able to feed on its natural food source because it was immobilized," he said. 

Frank Ritcey with WildSafeBC said the cat was likely injured during a territorial dispute with another cougar — something common between males.

"It's going to be a pretty vicious confrontation. A grown male cougar can take down a young moose or a full grown deer. They have a lot of power and a lot of ability to inflict a lot of wounds," said Ritcey

This incident marks the third cougar shot in Coldstream by conservation officers this winter.

Last week, four cougars were killed by the conservation service in Cranbrook when they were found hunting near a middle school.

With files from the CBC's Brady Strachan