Police and the conservation service were notified of a cougar sighting in Warfield on Wednesday, only to find it was a decoy to ward birds away from the treatment plant reservoir. After originally reporting it was a plush, zooming in on the object, police later discovered it is actually a plastic animal/coyote decoy. Photo: Trail RCMP

Police and the conservation service were notified of a cougar sighting in Warfield on Wednesday, only to find it was a decoy to ward birds away from the treatment plant reservoir. After originally reporting it was a plush, zooming in on the object, police later discovered it is actually a plastic animal/coyote decoy. Photo: Trail RCMP

Update: Trail police track down cougar, discover it’s a decoy

Animal spotted in reservoir of water treatment plant near Warfield

Update from Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich:

“Due to the popularity of the story, and media inquiries, I was able to arrange to take this close up photo from with the secure area of the reported ‘stuffed cougar,’” he began.

“As you can see, I was able to get close with my telephoto lens and confirm it is a plastic coyote/fox type animal. I believe the investigating officers viewed it from some distance outside the secure area and thought it was a stuffed cougar from the general shape and colouring,” he said.

“I am not sure how a member of the public managed to spot this.”

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Happy endings to police calls are a good thing, and sometimes they can even bring a smile and giggle.

Thus is the recent Trail RCMP case when a harmless stuffy was mistaken for a ferocious feline of the wild.

It all started the afternoon of March 10 when the Greater Trail detachment and the BC Conservation Officer Service received an unusual report that a cougar was sitting on top of a floating box in the middle of the reservoir at the water treatment plant near Warfield.

Officers attended and discovered that it was, in fact, a stuffed animal attached to a floating platform used to scare birds away from the water.

The suspect stuffy was kept on decoy duty with no repercussions.

Kidding aside, all cougar sightings in urban areas should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277.

Cougars account for around 2,500 calls to the conservation service each year, says WildSafeBC.

Most of those sightings, however, turn out to be animals other than cougars.



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