Could cougar have been saved by conservation officers?

A cougar in Port Moody has lost his life, simply for being too close for comfort.

According to the Huffington Post, police received two calls on June 30 about a cougar resting in a residential area – primarily in a tree. Police stated in a news release that the cougar showed an unwillingness to leave – and as a result, they felt it necessary to kill the animal.

We don’t know what police did to try and entice the cougar to leave the area; we do know, however, that they made a smart choice first and called for a Conservation Officer (CO) to attend. After all, COs are trained in wildlife hazing and human-wildlife conflict resolution. But here’s the twist: none were available.

After years of cutbacks, Conservation Officers in British Columbia – and in many other provinces – are being stretched thinner than ever before.

If a CO was able to attend, would their knowledge and experience have allowed them to save this cougar by appropriately hazing him? Would they have known to look for the attractants in the backyards that likely lured the cougar into the area?

Because of the cutbacks, we won’t ever know. And neither will the once beautiful cougar.

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The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at thefurbearers.com.

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