BC Conservation Officer Service says it has received a report of a ‘cougar’ in White Rock, but has not yet been able to verify the sighting.
Conservation officer Marc Plamondon said his office received one call Monday about a cougar sighting on Blackwood Street.
However, Plamondon said, the information was third-hand.
“So the person who allegedly saw it talked to one of their neighbours, who then called the City of White Rock, who then called us,” Plamondon said.
Information about the possible cougar sighting began circulating Monday on the For the Love of White Rock Facebook page.
One resident, who lives on Vidal Street, wrote that they received a message from their building’s strata council suggesting that there was a cougar in the area.
“We don’t get pretty much any cougar calls around there,” Plamondon said.
“Nothing was done at that point. We’re going to see if there was any more sightings or anything else to confirm that maybe there was something.”
In August 2019, police and conservation officers visited a South Surrey neighbourhood in search of a cougar after a report of “either a cougar or large domestic cat” was made around the 3040 145A St.
Surrey RCMP told Peace Arch News at the time that they patrolled the wooded area, and officers located a “large domestic cat that could be seen to be a cougar from a distance.”
It’s not uncommon for other animals to be mistaken for cougars.
“It could be a large house cat of even a dog. They just see a flash of it, with kind of similar colours or maybe that long tail. It is possible to mistakenly identify what they saw as something else,” Plamondon said.
For the time being, he added, BC Conservation will wait for further information before they can confirm whether there was a cougar in the Blackwood Street area.
“In an area that dense (in population), if there’s a cougar around there, there’s going to be people seeing it and there’s probably going to be more than one call.”
If safe to do so, Plamondon suggested residents try to take a photo of the animal and share it with conservation officers so they can determine if the creature is, in fact, a cougar.
Other reported sightings on the Semiahmoo Peninsula
Last August, BC Conservation received a report of a cougar sighting near South Meridian Elementary (16244 13 Ave.).
A resident in the area captured security footage of the animal walking beside their house in the evening.
Peace Arch News shared the video with Plamondon.
“We all had a look at the video and it does look very much like a cougar,” Plamondon said.
According to the WildSafeBC database, there have been four reported cougar sightings on the Semiahmoo Peninsula since August 2020.
The possible sightings include the most recent one, the sighting captured on video on Aug. 17, a sighting near 169A Street and 160 Street on Aug. 14, and a possible sighting near the South Surrey Park and Ride on Aug. 12.
Residents who believe they have spotted a cougar or other wild animal are encouraged to call the BC Conservation RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
To view all wildlife sightings, visit https://warp.wildsafebc.com/warp/