Cougar sightings in Rossland, Montrose, prompt safety reminder

Cougar sightings in Rossland, Montrose, prompt safety reminder

Cougars sighting have Desiree Profili from Rossland/Trail WildsafeBC, offering advice on staying safe and avoiding cat encounters.

Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.

If you do spot a Puma concolor otherwise known as a cougar, it’s because he wants you to see him, says Desiree Profili from WildsafeBC.

After two recent cougar sightings one down main street Rossland, the other on 12th Avenue in Montrose Profili offers insight about the wild cats and how to avoid encounters around home and out on the hiking trails.

“I have had a resident in Rossland tell me they did see one by the old OK Store (2100 block of Columbia Ave.),” Profili began, mentioning the sighting was around midnight. “It was walking right down main street.

“When you see one like that, they are usually injured, hungry or they’ve just become habituated and are looking for pets, small animals in town and, I hate to say it, but small children too.”

She says there is a “resident” cougar known to live behind Deer Park Mountain but at this point, she couldn’t confirm the animal walking through Rossland was in fact that particular cat.

“If they are letting you see them it’s because they are comfortable in their environment,” she added. “Their whole point is to not be seen, like if you are out hiking you’ve probably walked by one many times but didn’t see it because they stalk their prey and stay out of sight.”

Cougars are ambush predators, feeding mostly on mammals like deer and rabbits:

To avoid an interaction, Profili stressed that all pets, even big dogs, should be kept on a leash, young children should be close at hand and backyard cluckers or other domestic critters secured after dusk.

“It’s just a matter of making sure they are locked up at night,” she said. “And that you have an electric fence, that’s a large deterrent for them besides pets, small farm animals like backyard chickens and rabbits are another thing that will draw a cougar into the community.”

For those venturing into the back country, Profili recommends staying together in a large group and again, keeping animals on leashes and children close by.

“The more people there are the less likely cougars are to attack, because they want easy prey,” she explained. “They are looking for something smaller than them. And even if you have a big dog, it should be kept on a leash, because if a pet is being attacked it always comes back to its owners, and it will bring the cougar (or bear) back with it.”

If an interaction does happen, Profili advises to make yourself appear as big as possible, and fight back.

“They like live prey and if they attack you they want to eat you, so just fight back. That’s what has saved most people in cougar encounters fighting back and using a rock that’s close by or anything else you can get your hands on.”

Cougar facts:

The cougar, also called mountain lion or panther, is Canada’s largest cat. Cougars have long tails which may be one-third of their total body length.

An adult male cougar weighs between 63 and 90 kg (140-200 lbs), and a female cougar, between 40 and 50 kg (90-120 lbs). The biggest cougars are found in the interior and the Kootenays.

The cougar’s primary prey is deer. It will also feed on wild sheep, elk, rabbits, beaver, raccoons, grouse, and occasionally livestock.

Cougars are most active at dusk and dawn. However, they will roam and hunt at any time of the day or night and in all seasons.

During late spring and summer, one to two-year old cougars become independent of their mothers. While attempting to find a home range, these young cougars may roam widely in search of unoccupied territory. This is when cougars are most likely to conflict with humans.


Cougars seem to be attracted to children, possibly because their high-pitched voices, small size, and erratic movements make it difficult for cougars to identify them as human and not prey.

Talk to children and teach them what to do if they encounter a cougar.

Encourage children to play outdoors in groups, and supervise children playing outdoors.

Consider getting a dog for your children as an early-warning system. A dog can see, smell, and hear a cougar sooner than we can. Although dogs offer little value as a deterrent to cougars, they may distract a cougar from attacking a human.

Consider erecting a fence around play areas.

Keep a radio playing.

If there have been cougar sightings, escort children to the bus stop in the early morning. Clear shrubs away around the<span class="Apple

Just Posted

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands outside West Kootenay airport

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

J. L. Crowe Secondary will host the convocation for 2021 Graduates on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Photo: Jim Bailey
Convocation goes Saturday with Kootenay Columbia grads in learning groups, no parents

Parents can live-stream the ceremony of their 2021 graduates online

Clarice Tuai, seen in front of the ‘50 Objects for 50 Years’ exhibit, is a summer student for the Trail museum/visitors centre. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Trail museum invites everyone to visit new Doukhobor exhibit

‘50 Objects for 50 Years’ runs until October 1

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

Most Read