Local conservation officer attacked by cougar near Salmo

Local conservation officer attacked by cougar near Salmo

A local conservation officer was attacked by a cougar during an anomalous spike in cougar activity in and around Salmo, according to Deputy Chief Conservation Officer Chris Doyle.

Doyle said the CO (whose name will not be released) responded to a call about an injured cougar that had been struck by a pick-up truck about 20 km outside Salmo at roughly 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. The otherwise-healthy cougar was injured severely enough to require the officer to humanely euthanize the animal.

“Immediately after, he responded to a call about a cougar attempting to enter a residence about 10 km outside of Salmo,” Doyle said, describing the animal as “extremely emaciated”. He said the cougar, despite absolutely no provocation, attacked the officer, forcing the CO to kill the cougar in self defense.

“Fortunately, the officer's injuries were very minor,” Doyle said.

He said this month has seen a bit of a spike in cougar activity in the area, with 10 complaints this month (out of a total of 17 complaints all year).

When asked to what the increase could be attributed, he suggested deep snow may be hampering the predators' ability to travel and hunt.

He said this is the only time he's heard of a CO being attacked by a cougar.

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