Three cougars had to be put down on in Courtenay over the weekend after they attacked and killed a farm animal. A caller to police Saturday night said he had shot at the animals, and believed he had hit one, after they killed his pet lamb and chased his pet pig.
According to the Ministry of Environment, RCMP officers responding to the property in Courtenay found two juvenile cougars still on scene, hiding behind a lamb pen. The officers killed the cougars and then began searching for a third cougar as the others had not previously been injured.
Conservation Officers arrived early Sunday morning to help with the search and found a pet donkey had also been injured — likely defending the other animals, said information sent from the Ministry. The home’s animal pen was situated close to the main house, which elevated the risk to the landowner and his family as the cougar had been hunting right next door.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. CO’s found the adult cougar near the property. Tracking hounds were used to approach the animal, which stayed on scene and did not run. The Ministry says the animal simply crouched down and watched from a distance of roughly 20 metres.
Officers determined this behaviour to be abnormal and believed there was little doubt the remaining cougar had been involved in the incident of the night before and made the decision to kill the cougar. However, no previous gunshots were found on this animal either.
The Ministry says the home’s location was in Courtenay, very close to the visitor information booth near the Courtenay/Cumberland interchange.
Editor’s note: This article originally stated that there were “pigs” and “lambs” on this property, as per information provided by the Ministry of Environment. The ministry has since confirmed that there was only one pig and one lamb on the property.