Fisher cat reports spike in Kahnawake
Animal protection officials in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, south of Montreal, are warning people to be on the lookout for fisher cats — members of the weasel family that can be dangerous.
Officials said the number of reports about the animals have grown over the past year.
Kahnawake resident Jordan Norton said he heard a fisher cat's high-pitched wail while visiting his mother earlier this year.
"I was sitting down watching TV, and it just sounded like a woman was being attacked."
Assistant animal protection officer Deidre White said pet owners should be cautious.
"Fisher cats can take down a dog the size of a German shepherd or a golden retriever," she said. "But we haven't had any confirmed reports of any attacks."
Kahawake's chief of conservation Karonhiio Curotte said his team is trying to determine why there has been a spike in fisher cat sightings.
"Either the population has gone up [or], more likely, their actual habitat has gone down," he said. "People are building more and moving into more forested areas .... here in town big tracks of land are getting more scarce."
Curotte said conservation officials are waiting for the first snowfall to track the animals' prints, and find out how many of them are actually living on the reserve.