Cougar sighting in Bert Flinn Park prompts warning

Visitors to Bert Flinn Park in Port Moody are being warned to stay alert after a cougar was spotted in the southern part of the park.

“It did not show signs of aggressive behaviour and it made an effort to avoid human interaction,” said a Tweet posted on the city’s Twitter account on Tuesday.

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And while the cougar sighting had yet to reported to BC Conservation Service’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP.) on Wednesday, conservation officer Todd Hunter said the service gets about 40 calls of cougars being spotted in the Port Moody area every year, including a pair of the big cats that were spotted walking along the West Coast Express railway tracks in April.

“Port Moody is an estuary, so it’s always an area where we’re going to find wildlife,” Hunter said. “They’re most often looking for deer and sometimes racoons and coyotes.”

Hunter said while cougar attacks are rare, people should still be vigilant.

“Keep your distance and follow the basic wildlife rules to leave them alone,” he said, adding that any encounter should be reported. “We want to know when there’s been encounters.”

Last week, a cougar attack two mountain bikers riding along a trail in the Cascade Mountains near Seattle, killing one of them.

• For more information about wildlife encounters and how to report them, as well as a link to WARP, go to https://wildsafebc.com

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