British Columbians are fortunate to share their province with cougars, one of the most mysterious and elusive of all wild animals. The cougar’s secretive habits and astounding predatory abilities – a cougar is capable of killing a 270 kg (600 lb) moose – have resulted in a wealth of misconceptions and irrational fears. Actually, most B.C residents live all their lives without a glimpse of a cougar, much less a confrontation with one.
Conflict between cougars and humans is extremely rare. In the past 100 years, a total of five people have been killed by cougar attacks in B.C. (in comparison, bees kill upwards of three Canadians every year). All but one of these fatal cougar attacks occurred on Vancouver Island. During the same period, there were 29 non-fatal attacks in B.C – 20 of which occurred on Vancouver Island. The vast majority of these attacks were on children under the age of 16.