Fourth 'habituated' cougar killed in Penticton this week
Conservation officers were unsuccessful in driving cougars out of the city
Conservation officers have captured and destroyed a mother cougar in Penticton, B.C. one day after the B.C. Conservation Service euthanized three juvenile cougars that were hunting in the city not far from an elementary school.
The mother cat was captured in a leg hold trap placed near a bighorn sheep carcass on Tuesday evening and shot this morning, according to conservation officer Sgt. Jim Beck.
"We utilized leg hold traps to anchor her to the kill," he said.
"We set traps on the last kill and captured her that way."
The family of four cougars had been spotted numerous times over the past week in Penticton and were going onto into residential yards and onto city streets.
The mother had become habituated and had lost all fear of humans, according to Beck.
"Generally cougars are very discrete and hide very well. Most people go their entire lives hiking in the bush or hunting in the bush and never see any cougars," Beck said.
"Her characteristics were very nontypical of a normal cougar's behaviour."
The mother cougar was teaching her young to hunt prey in the urban environment, he said.
Conservation officers tried to drive the animals out of the city, but the predators kept coming back into residential areas.
"It was probably 500 meters away from an elementary school," he said.
"We tried removing her kills when we found her kills, we tried hazing her and nothing proved successful."
On Sunday, the mother cougar stalked a woman and her pet dog while they were out for a walk.
By the next morning, the conservation office had determined that the animals were a threat to the public.
Beck said tranquillization and relocation wasn't an option for the cougars as much of the regions deer population is confined to urban areas.
"I know that there is going to be a certain sector of the population that will not accept what we did and there is another sector that is saying, well it's about time we did something because my kid was at risk."
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