A family from Langford on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, discovered an unusual intruder in their chicken coop on Monday morning. A young cougar had got trapped inside after killing two chickens. Jacob Van Lierop said his mother woke him up because the predator had somehow got into the family’s backyard chicken coop.
“It was kind of creepy, kind of freaky. I was eating breakfast just watching it,” he said. “There were feathers everywhere and it was just kind of sitting there.”
RCMP responding to the scene called in conservation to help deal with the trapped cat.
Peter Pauwels said the juvenile male cougar was still in the coop when he arrived at the home just after 7:30am, but it got out and fled once he arrived.
Hounds tracked down the cougar to a tree a short distance from the home.
The animal was shot with a tranquiliser dart and fell a “fair distance” out of the tree. It has since been taken back to conservation’s headquarters for further inspection.
“If it’s in good condition and it’s a suitable candidate for trans-location, that’s what we’ll do,” said Pauwels.
He said conservation tends to see more calls for cougars in spring and summer months, but “this type of call is fairly unusual where a cougar’s actually stuck inside a chicken coop.”
The animal weighed about 60 to 70 pounds and was about a year old, he said.
Pauwels said there have been multiple sightings of juvenile cougars this spring.
Anyone who sees the animals is advised to keep their distance and not approach them, leave an avenue of escape and not turn their backs.