Barry Joneson had a close encounter with a cougar while attempting to do a good deed. A former longtime resident of Clearwater, he moved back to the community a few years ago.

Barry Joneson had a close encounter with a cougar while attempting to do a good deed. A former longtime resident of Clearwater, he moved back to the community a few years ago.

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind Tuesday morning, Nov. 21.

Unfortunately, the encounter ended with police having to shoot the big feline.

According to Joneson, he went to a home in Clearwater’s Weyerhaeuser subdivision after a friend asked him to pick up her daughter’s dead cat that had been killed by a cougar.

The friend’s daughter had two little boys who had been taken to day-care. They wanted Joneson to put the dead cat into a box while the boys were away so they could have a little funeral when they came back home.

READ MORE: Cougar attacks young girl in Wells Gray Park

READ MORE: B.C. man captures cougar take down on camera

To his surprise, he found when he arrived that the cougar had not left the backyard.

“I opened the back gate and I heard a sound like I had never heard before – like a big cat on steroids,” he said. “It was still there and hadn’t left at all, just hiding.”

The cougar took a run at him when he tried to take the dead cat away.

Joneson left the backyard in a hurry, dropping his gloves and the box, but locking the gate behind him.

“I shut that gate because it goes out onto Robson Street, the main street and kids were going by on their way to school,” he said.

When the big cat was busy with its meal again he sat in his vehicle, watching it.

He kept an eye on the big predator because youngsters were walking by going to school.

There was a school-bus stop just two houses down from where the cougar was.

Joneson’s dog, Otis, wanted to fight the big cat but Joneson put him in his truck where he would be safe.

The cougar seemed to be not afraid of anything. It also was limping and appeared to be injured.

If it hadn’t been injured it could easily have jumped the backyard gate and come after him, if it had been so inclined, Joneson felt.

On the other hand, if it hadn’t been cornered in the backyard, it likely would not have charged him in the first place, he said.

He pointed out that there are many deer tracks in the area, so if the cougar had been healthy, it would have had plenty of other opportunities to get food.

After a while the police arrived. By this time the big cat had found a way out of the backyard, possibly by jumping from a pile of leaves.

The police located the cougar several blocks away and dispatched it.

“It was kind of sad, actually,” said Joneson. “I hate to see any animal put down. Still, it was just as well the little boys didn’t go into the backyard while it was there.”

According to Clearwater RCMP Sgt. Grant Simpson, the detachment had received several reports that morning of a cougar in the subdivision.

Police conducted extensive patrols and warned people out walking about the sightings. They urged them to be careful and to keep their pets indoors. Police also kept a close watch over children heading to school or waiting for buses.

Later in the morning, while still conducting patrols, police learned that the cougar had reportedly approached to within three metres of a man (Joneson) and had killed a cat as well.

Police eventually found the cougar several blocks from where it was originally sighted.

An attempt was made to “herd” it away from the settled area.

Unfortunately, the cougar showed no fear when approached by police.

It appeared unhealthy, hungry and had a limp, Simpson said.

Police decided the animal posed a significant risk to the public and had to be put down. Tranquilizing the cougar was not an option because of its behavior and its apparent unhealthy and starving condition.

When it entered the tarped-in porch of a house under renovation, it was shot by police.

Police seized the carcass for the BC Conservation Officer Service, who will perform a necropsy on it.

 

A cougar prowls by the gate to a backyard in Clearwater’s Weyerhaeuser subdivision on Tuesday morning, Nov. 21. The big cat later was put down by RCMP, who decided it posed a significant risk to the public.

A cougar prowls by the gate to a backyard in Clearwater’s Weyerhaeuser subdivision on Tuesday morning, Nov. 21. The big cat later was put down by RCMP, who decided it posed a significant risk to the public.

Just Posted

FILE
70 per cent of people aged 12 and older in Agassiz-Harrison have been vaccinated

More than 80 per cent of adults aged 50 and older have been vaccinated, as of June 10

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Agassiz Agricultural Hall hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday. District officials reported more than 300 doses are administered per week. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Walk-in COVID vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday

Walk-in appointments available while supplies last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read