A cougar has been sighted in our Coutlee riding area on two different occasions today. The club does not advise that anyone ride alone in this area right now.
The warning stems from two reported sightings of the same cougar near the area of the Inside Passage and JP Cool trails on Sunday August 21. The first close call involved a trail builder who ran into the wildcat within 20 meters while biking up and tried scaring it away by yelling and screaming. He sprayed bear spray down wind at it the cougar was not phased by yelling and continued to walk closer to the trail builder. The bear spray slightly distracted the cougar and he increased his distance and got away unscathed.
A few hours later, a group of bikers came across the cougar before it ran off. The bigger group and it's noise likely scared it off.
It’s possible that the cougar has a kill in the area that it’s protecting and we’re just asking people to avoid biking alone in that area for now,
The best strategy for warding off a cougar, is to make yourself as tall as possible, be loud and throw things in the cat’s direction. Avoid crouching or turning your back, and to keep small pets and children close by. Put your bike between you and the wildcat and yell like you just don't care.
Please let us know if there are any further sightings.