A cougar was put down after killing a goat and attacking a donkey from a hobby farm off Hartnell Road over the Jan. 30 weekend. (File photo)

A cougar was put down after killing a goat and attacking a donkey from a hobby farm off Hartnell Road over the Jan. 30 weekend. (File photo)

Cougar destroyed after killing goat, attacking donkey in Vernon

Conservation Officers forced to put the predatory cat down

A cougar has been put down after killing a goat and attacking a donkey.

The BX animals came in conflict with the predatory cat over the weekend.

“It’s the little hobby farm livestock that end up as prey for cougars more often than not,” conservation officer Micah Kneller said. “It’s totally normal for cougars to attack, certainly goats because they’re small.”

The Conservation Office Service caught the cougar Monday evening, just 50-100 feet from the Hartnell Road farm.

“Once a cougar kills something, they drag it away, feed on it, bury it and hide and continue to feed on it,” said Kneller.

Unfortunately, the mature male tom had to be euthanized as they cannot be relocated in these situations.

“They’re probably not going to stop doing that and we don’t want to see them hunting where we’re living.”

But there is something residents can do to protect both cougars and their livestock.

“They should always be locked up at night,” Kneller said of farm animals. “Then you’re doing what you can to prevent predators from killing them.

“If you’re not doing that it really isn’t if, it’s when especially around here. We live in an area where there are predators. There’s a really healthy cougar population living around.”

In the recent BX case, the landowner normally night pens his animals but for some reason, he wasn’t able to get them in that evening.

Unlike bears, cougars will not break into a building to get at an animal.

They are also not confrontational animals and generally do not want to be seen.

“People have this natural fear of cougars more than anything else, and it’s pretty unwarranted,” Kneller said. “We came within 10 yards of the cat, and once it realized we were there it just bolted. As soon as they know you are around, they don’t want any conflict, they just take off.”

Anyone who encounters a cougar is urged to make eye contact with the cat so it knows you see it, make yourself look bigger and make noises, but don’t squeal. Be sure, too, to keep pets on leashes.

“It’s exceedingly rare that they attack,” said Kneller, noting that while there was recently an attack in the Lower Mainland, there hasn’t been a fatal attack since the mid-’90s.

The COs are happy to report that a few moose that have been hanging around the area Jan. 19 have moved on.

READ MORE: Public provoking blamed for moose chasing Vernon residents

READ MORE: Cougar caught on camera in Coldstream


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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