Caught on cam: Cougar lounges in Vancouver Island yard
COURTENAY -- Gold River’s Christie Pearson says she was shocked, but feels fortunate to have spotted a cougar twice in her yard recently.
“There’s people who have lived all their lives and have never seen a cougar and I got to see one twice in a day,” Pearson told CTV News on Friday.
Her video of the encounter has just surfaced on social media now, but occurred on March 31 around 1 p.m. after her children had just gone back to school after lunch, and while her husband was in the front yard splitting wood.
She walked past her sliding doors and saw something move and realized it was a cougar, she says.
“I was just in shock because it had walked right though my backyard. So then I went to the front door and started yelling at my husband, 'Cougar, cougar, cougar!'” she said.
It appeared to have vanished after that and Pearson called her neighbours, who gathered in the middle of the street to talk about the sighting.
After the conversation ended, Pearson spotted the animal a second time as it left from under some stairs on her property. Then it began watching her husband at work in the front.
“I feel like that cat was under those stairs listening to the four of us. It was me, my husband and another couple that lives across the street. We were just chatting and I feel like it was there that whole time,” she said.
Her husband then managed to grab a short video of the big cat before it wandered off.
“It made eye contact with me and then I freaked out and jumped into my Yukon and it was just sitting there and (was) watching us. It was not afraid, it was not a little cougar,” she said.
Pearson says the sighting was amazing, and while they are spotted in Gold River from time to time, she feels her encounter was unusual.
“They’re not (rare), but in the middle of the day right in town? I don’t think that’s very common,” she said. “They definitely are around but I just couldn’t believe it. It was broad daylight, it just walked right where my son likes to dig a hole, he was right there.”
Pearson says that signs of a couger were found near her property once before.
She says conservation officers searched the area for a few hours after the sighting, but were unable to find the animal. She believes the same cougar has been spotted three times on her street now.