A sign at the entrance to town warns of the recent cougar activity Sunday, June 21, 2009 in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alta. A large cougar is prowling a tiny but densely populated island just off Nanaimo, B.C., and officials with the Environment Ministry say conservation officers are keeping a close eye on the situation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Martens

A sign at the entrance to town warns of the recent cougar activity Sunday, June 21, 2009 in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alta. A large cougar is prowling a tiny but densely populated island just off Nanaimo, B.C., and officials with the Environment Ministry say conservation officers are keeping a close eye on the situation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Martens

Community of Protection Island, near Nanaimo, wary as large cougar moves in

Conservation officers have received numerous calls about the large cat, are keeping a watchful eye

A large cougar is prowling a tiny but densely populated island just off Nanaimo, B.C., and officials with the Environment Ministry say conservation officers are keeping a close eye on the situation.

A spokeswoman for the ministry says the BC Conservation Officer Service has received numerous calls about the cougar on Protection Island, a 70-hectare community of about 350 homes on the east side of Nanaimo harbour.

The conservation office believes the big cat swam from nearby Newcastle Island, a provincial park just a few hundred metres to the north, and the ministry says it understands the animal is not acting aggressively so there is no immediate plan to capture and remove it.

Protection Island residents have been advised to report any recent sightings, especially if the cougar is showing predatory behaviour such as following people or pets.

Residents are also urged to make noise while walking and to keep children in sight and pets leashed or indoors.

A Facebook page set up by Island residents shows the cougar likely arrived a day or two before Christmas, killed a deer and was not expected to leave before it finished that meal.

In the meantime, the page shows residents have proposed everything from naming the cat “Santa Claws,” to forming roving groups to tour the island singing and making noise, in hopes the cougar would move on.

Another post says the Protection Island Neighbourhood Association made caution signs that were to be posted at various points around the Island on Wednesday.

“I sure hope the cougar can read,” says a followup post.

But a separate entry questions what will happen if the animal attacks a child or a pet and calls on the conservation officer service to “do your job.”

The statement from the CO service says cougars are common on Vancouver Island, are good swimmers and have been known to swim to smaller islands “from time to time.”

The Canadian Press

READ ALSO: House destroyed by fire on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

cougar attackNanaimoWildlife

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in you inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image