Cougar encounter: big cat emerges from hiding, startles field worker

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Quilchena Area, 73km East of Merritt
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Cabin Forestry Services
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While a worker was traversing an NCD riparian feature, a cougar jumped out from behind a root wad and lands five metres in front of worker.

Cougar stared at worker and held its ground. Worker responded by pulling out bear spray and calling for co-worker that was nearby. Cougar backed off without taking eyes off worker.

Afterwards workers continued working together for the remainder of the day.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Always carry bear spray.
  • Do not run. Flight might trigger pursuit.
  • Face the cougar. Don’t turn your back on a cougar. Stand up.
  • Maintain eye contact with the cougar. Cougars prefer to ambush prey from behind. If the cougar knows you have seen it, an attack is less likely.
  • If you are working with a partner or crew use your radio to notify them that you have encountered a cougar. Let others within radio contact know your situation and location.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kevin Chau – Cabin Forestry Services, Vernon, B.C. (778) 475-3655 Email: kchau@cabinforestry.com 

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