The sight of a cougar in her yard near the small farming community of Glenora in south Duncan startled Margaret Ann Belanger.
Belanger said she heard a noise while watering her tomatoes on July 18 in the backyard of her home, which is adjacent to a forested area, and expected to see one of the many deer that frequently visit the area.
But she was surprised to see a large cougar a short distance away on the edge of her property, near the forest.
Belanger said the cat “just stood there” for a few minutes until it casually sauntered back into the trees.
She said she managed to take a few pictures of the usually reclusive feline before it disappeared.
“What a beauty he was and what a privilege it was to see him there,” Belanger said.
“We certainly live in a most beautiful land. I’ve lived in this area for years and have seen many bears and deer in that time, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a cougar. But I’m always aware they are around, and I scan the area around my house every time I go outside.”
Conservation officer Peter Pauwels said the public shouldn’t be alarmed about the cougar sighting.
He said cougars live permanently in the Glenora area and mostly feed off deer, which are abundant there.
Pauwels said there have been no further sightings of the cougar since July 18, and conservation officers won’t take any action as long as the cat “behaves itself” and doesn’t bother livestock or other animals, or people, in the area.
“We do get cougar sightings in the Glenora area from time to time, but they are usually nothing out of the ordinary,” he said.
“Cougars are more active at night, but they also travel by day, which this one appeared to be doing.”