British Columbia

Cougars in the midst: Keep an eye open for big cats in Port Moody

Police in Port Moody say they have received a number of calls about cougar sightings although efforts to locate the big cat, or cats, have come up short.

'Cougars view small children and pets as targets.'

A number of cougar sighting have been reported in Port Moody and police want residents to be on the lookout. (Fotolia)

Police in Port Moody say they have received a number of calls about cougar sightings, although efforts to locate the big cat — or cats — have come up short.

Const. Angela Fisher said police aren't issuing an official warning, but they do want residents to be aware. 

"They aren't a huge concern but when we do have sightings we like to let the public know," she said.

Both police and conservation officers have been out looking for the animal(s) without any luck.

The latest cougar sighting was along the Shoreline trail in Rocky Point Park, but cougars are known to move around quickly. 

Fisher said it's important to call police or the B.C. Conservation service if you spot one, especially if the animal is an area where there might be children. 

"Cougars view small children and pets as targets due to their small size, high pitched voices and the way that children and animals move," said Fisher. 

If you do come across a cougar show aggression, make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the cougar in view. Pick up children immediately and give the animal a clear exit to leave.

The time to be most mindful of cougars is at dusk and dawn, when the animals are most active, although they will roam and hunt at any time of the day or night and in all seasons. 

With files from Deborah Goble

now