Cougar sighting a reminder to be prepared

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Rutherford Creek, 16.2km (Sea-to-Sky Corridor)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Chartwell Consultants Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Two workers had just finished setting up equipment for a bridge site plan survey when they turned to see a cougar on the road about 30 metres away. The cougar sat for a few moments before bolting into the woods.

The workers returned to the truck, ensuring they made a lot of noise. Back at the truck, they fired off a few bear bangers and then continued to work, while keeping watch. The work day was completed without further sightings or incident.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Setting up next to a noisy, fast flowing creek probably prevented the cougar from hearing the workers before it came upon them. The cougar’s behavior indicated that it was not predatory. The workers believed they may have startled it.
  • Ensure that workers are staying aware of their surroundings, particularly in the morning and evening. When working next to a loud stream, ensure that you are making noise to warn off and avoid surprising any wildlife in the area.
  • In this case, one of the bear bangers used was old and turned out to be defective – ensure that all equipment is in good condition before going out into the field.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Kari Zuehlke Safety coordinator, Chartwell Consultants Ltd. (604) 973-1100 kzuehlke@chartwell-consultants.com

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