The camera looks down on a cougar standing on a covered back patio of someone's house.

Photo Credit: Comox Valley Record

This Was No Cat In The Hat

Vancouver Island has the most cougars in the world, but they normally stay hidden

A Comox resident got a shock last week when their home security camera caught a cougar snooping around the backyard

After years of study, wildlife biologists are pretty sure we have the highest density of cougars in the world right here on Vancouver Island. There are about 4,000 cougars in BC, and between 600 and 800 of them may live on VanIsle.

But it’s hard to know just how many. These apex predators don’t exactly line up to be counted. They are fantastic at hiding—it’s part of why they’re such great hunters.

Most of the time cougars steer clear of humans. Meeting a human rarely ends well for the animal. It’s kind of a curiosity-killed-the-cat scenario.

But sometimes they end up in unlikely places—like suburbia.

Last week, a Comox resident captured stunning video of a cougar just casually checking out their backyard.

In a Black Press story published Nov. 20, the Comox resident, who asked not to be identified, said they got an alert from their home security camera.

“We’ve never seen anything before…. This startled us,” said the resident. 

They had seen plenty of deer and racoons, but never a big wild cat.

In the 90-second video, the cougar approaches a covered patio, sniffs around, snarls, and then ducks under a bench back into the yard. Then it turns around and slinks back into the forest.

The Town of Comox posted a warning last Friday morning on social media about the animal being spotted near 1270 Guthrie Rd.

If you see a cougar in town, you can report it to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.