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UPDATE: Juvenile cougar killed after stalking Port Coquitlam teenager

A juvenile cougar has been shot in Port Coquitlam after reports a 14-year-old boy had been stalked by the animal; the cougars are believed to be linked to several dog attacks in the Coquitlam area
Acting Sgt. Alicia Stark
After multiple reports of encounters with cougars in the last week across Coquitlam and Port Moody, a juvenile cougar was killed in Port Coquitlam Tuesday night, according to BCCOS acting Sgt. Alicia Stark.

A juvenile cougar has been shot in Port Coquitlam after reports a 14-year-old boy had been stalked by the animal.

The incident occurred Tuesday night as the teenager was walking home in the Cedar Drive area near Hyde Creek in Port Coquitlam. Acting Sgt. Alicia Stark told the Tri-City News the teen noticed he was being followed by a mother cougar and a juvenile — later determined to be a roughly three-month-old male, or tom.

“There was no contact between the cougars and the person but it sparked an immediate response from the Conservation Officer Service,” said acting Sgt. Stark. 

Upon learning of the encounter, a nearby resident immediately called the RAPP line at around 9 p.m. to report the incident and BCCOS officers deployed hounds to the area to track down the big cats. 

The juvenile was immediately found and destroyed, said Stark, and neighbours in the area told the Tri-City News that they heard gunshots in the area at about 10:30 p.m.

Despite a search that lasted all night, the mother has yet to be located and the hunt continues, said acting Sgt. Stark. Residents of the area surrounding Hyde Creek are advised to stay clear of the nearby trails.

The killing of the big cat comes on the heels of a series of cougar encounters across the Tri-Cities in which at least three dogs have been attacked, including a puppy pug snatched from a Burke Mountain yard over the weekend.

It’s not certain the animals involved in the Port Coquitlam encounter are the same ones responsible for an attack on the Burke Mountain pug over the weekend; however, they are believed to be linked to at least some of the Coquitlam dog attacks, according to a BCCOS press release, and the service is awaiting results of a necropsy on the juvenile to confirm if it’s the same animal.

Acting Sgt. Stark said there could be more aggressive cougars in the area and she is warning the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings immediately to the BCCOS RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

Anyone challenged by a cougar is advised to act bold — face the animal while making yourself large and loud — and ensure there’s an escape route away from the big cats. 

— With files from Janis Cleugh