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Surprise visitor: cougar prowls backyard of French Creek property

Parksville, BC, Canada / 88.5 The Beach
Surprise visitor: cougar prowls backyard of French Creek property

FRENCH CREEK — A quiet evening at home for a French Creek couple took a dramatic turn when a prowling cougar stopped by for a visit.

Leonard Mustard told NanaimoNewsNOW his wife looked through a backyard window of their Glenhale Cres. home and saw a long tail around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22. Mustard said he went in for a closer look and realized it was a full-sized cougar.

Mustard immediately took note of a backyard lounge chair.

“Luckily it was facing us and on the lounger was my cat and right in line behind it about 20 feet further away at the top of the bank was quite a large cougar.”

Mustard bolted outside and made a loud noise, then took two to three steps toward the cougar. He said thankfully his cat didn’t move, which could have sent the cougar in pursuit mode.

“She just kind of sleepily looked up at me and the cougar turned around and just steadily walked back to the top corner of my property and down the beach access steps.”

The cougar did not show any predatory behaviour, Mustard said.

He said he didn’t overact and remained calm at the time.

“I was calm, I knew it was important to make myself big and noisy and it worked.”

Mustard talked to a conservation officer on the phone, who told him to ensure both of their cats were indoors overnight.

Mustard theorized the cougar was traveling along the beach and a high tide forced it to their property.

“That blocked his progress going back towards the marina and I’m guessing he then looked up, he saw the steps, took a left turn and up he came.”

Mustard said he and his wife had never seen a cougar in their 15-years living at their current home.

The BC Conservation Officer Service reported a separate cougar sighting near the French Creek Marina at roughly the same time the night prior to the report filed by Mustard.


Ian Holmes

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