Coquitlam RCMP are sounding a warning to anyone looking at stepping onto the Coquitlam Crunch trail after the detachment received several reports of a cougar in the area Friday morning.
“On September 11, 2020, at approximately 11:30 a.m., numerous calls were received that a cougar was spotted crossing the trail in the Panorama Rd and Eagle Mtn Drive area,” wrote Sgt. Paul Vadik in a written statement.
The BC Conservation Service has been notified and Coquitlam bylaw officers are assisting by erecting signs in the area.
The Coquitlam Crunch is a popular hiking destination in the Tri-Cities. In recent months, it's seen a significant uptick in traffic as people from across Metro Vancouver look to get outside during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the city.
Two cougars were spotted in the last week of August in Port Moody’s Bert Flinn Park, triggering a warning to residents in the area, especially those walking small dogs that might be considered as prey to the big cats.
The following tips are provided to keep people safe:
• Keep dogs on a leash and under control at all times.
• Be alert and make noise when walking in forested settings.
• If you do encounter a cougar, never run. Instead, turn and face the animal, use jackets and backpacks to look as big as possible, and back away slowly.
• If the cougar appears to be stalking or following you, yell and throw objects such as rocks or sticks.
• Report any encounters or sightings in an urban area to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
Find out more about B.C. cougars here.
— With files from Diane Strandberg
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