Cougar encounter in West Kootenay region

Safety Alert Type: 
Wildlife encounter
Koch Creek area
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Development field workers were alerted to the presence of a cougar by their dog. The cougar mauled the dog but the wildcat eventually ran away when workers yelled and threw rocks at it.

Hazard: Cougars can be elusive and stealthy, allowing them to come into close proximity with field workers. Cougars accustomed to wolves may behave aggressively with dogs.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Actions to Prevent a Re-Occurrence:

  • The best line of defense is becoming aware of when a cougar (or bear) has entered your immediate working area.
  • A “bush-dog” trained to alert or bark when they see wildlife is a benefit. However, an untrained dog that is more like a house-pet can be a detriment to field workers as they may attract the interest of cougars, without alerting workers to their presence.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of wildlife, like prints, scat or other markings.
  • Always carry a means of defense such as pepper spray, bear bangers or air horns. Continually make noise while working in the bush to avoid coming upon or startling wildlife.
  • Try to work in partners or in close proximity to other workers.
  • Relocate if a cougar lingers in your working area.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Ron Palmer, RPF, Interfor, Interior Operations, Ron.Palmer@Interfor.com (250) 265-8543

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