Turning over the front page of the Summerland Review last week, my daughters and I gasped with delight at the beautiful cougar pictured on Page 3, that delight quickly turning into dismay on reading the headline.
The B.C. Ministry of Environment states on their website: “There are few authentic instances of cougar attacking humans. Normal behaviour is one of human avoidance, although cougar often displays a harmless curiosity toward the actions of man. They have been observed sitting at a vantage point and watching, sometimes for hours, people either working or playing out of doors. “
It also states that “The importance of the cougar as an integral part of the wildlife of British Columbia cannot be overemphasized”
I had naively assumed that a conservation officer would be concerned with conservation of wildlife, but this officer went out of his way to track and kill a retreating animal whose only crime was chilling out in the wrong place.
Given this approach to conservation, I am certain that the Ministry of Environment must be inundated with resumes from trigger-happy hunters – it is, after all, a wonderful opportunity to get paid to hunt year-round without the need for licences.