A cougar was destroyed on the west side of Grant Road yesterday, September 4, 2016. According to various reports, the animal was shot by Sooke RCMP
There were also various social media reports of a cougar sighting near Grant and Henlyn, early Sunday morning around 7:00 a.m. The cat showed no fear of humans, and was seen walking through a backyard right up to a back door. Because of its fearlessness, it posed a risk to humans; conservation officers were notified and it was destroyed by the Sooke RCMP.
In a statement (full statement below), Debbie Read of Wild Wise Sooke bluntly states, “The cat was ruined then destroyed because PEOPLE were careless.”
Read is not blaming the person who called it in. That person did the right thing.
“Calling the RCMP was necessary,” says Read. “It was too late for that cougar. It already was habituated and had no fear of humans.”
Following are the various reports available on social media, followed by a full statement from Wild Wise Sooke. The end CTV video on the decision not to relocate adult cougars has scenes that some viewers may find difficult to watch.
**Please note, we realize this topic is a passionate one; however, we ask that you keep your language clean and focused on the issue. Comments laced with f-bombs will be removed.
Debbie Read of Wild Wise Sooke offers the following
I can explain some facts to help understand why wild animals are sometimes destroyed.
This should be no surprise to us, that a cougar saw an opportunity and feasted on cats, rodents and human-fed urban deer.
Some residents enjoy feeding deer and having them reside on their property. Others leave out garbage that attracts rodents to the property. These attractants invite wild animals like Cougars.
Even in broad daylight a cougar will “be hunting”—in town. So what would you do with this cat? He was now hunting and enjoying life within a residential community.
There is no magical place to where wild animals (cougars) can be easily relocated or translocated, allowing them to live Happily Ever After. Even after a relocation, once an animal has become habituated (no longer fear or try to avoid humans) and human food conditioned, they will strive to continue that behavior. Seeking out easy food sources is the motivating factor.
Bottom line: If the cougar had no attractants within a residential community, it would still be enjoying life in the wild.
We cannot take a chance with a wild animal eating and living in community. People, through carelessness or ignorance, are the problem; ironically, they can also be the first to scream foul play when these wild animals are destroyed. People have to realize that managing food attractions is key to keeping wildlife wild.
The cat was ruined then destroyed because PEOPLE were careless.