Campers parked on B.C. highway surprised by cougar

Video shows animal slowly approaching vehicle until engine starts

Campers caught footage of a cougar approaching their car in the forests of Vancouver Island recently.

They were about 75 km southwest of Campbell River on Highway 28 when the encounter took place, said Oren Hanscomb, who was among the campers.

They had pulled over on the soft shoulder of the highway when the cougar “poked its head over the ledge,” said Hanscomb in an email.

They rolled up the windows of the vehicle as the animal slowly advanced. The video shows it approaching the car until Hanscomb starts the engine.

“I turned my Jeep on just to make sure it stayed away, which worked,” he said. “Then soon after we just left.”

The sighting took place on July 6.

People who encounter wildlife like cougars on the road are advised to stay in their vehicle, and to consider not stopping. This keeps them from becoming accustomed to people.

Provincial conservation authorities advise anyone who encounters a cougar to stay calm, keep the animal in view and pick up any children immediately. The noise and movements of frightened children could startle the animal, provoking an attack. Then back away slowly, making sure the cougar has a way to escape.

People who encounter a cougar are also advised to make themselves seem as large as possible. Never turn your back on a cougar, and never run from it.

If followed by a cougar, respond with aggression: show your teeth, maintain eye contact and make loud noises. Grab rocks or sticks to arm yourself.

And fight back if the cougar attacks, striking at its face and eyes, and using anything available as a weapon.

If a cougar poses an immediate threat to public safety, call the Conservation Office’s hotline: 1-877-952-7277.

More information about cougars and other wild animals can be found at the BC Conservation Foundation’s WildSafeBC website and the provincial government’s “Staying Safe Around Wildlife” website.

Just Posted

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the region’s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Driver assaulted near Agassiz following road rage incident

RCMP ask for public’s help identifying suspects involved in Highway 9 incident

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rock’s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Most Read