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The cat came back (more cougar sightings in Valemount)

“There’s that cat again,” Braden Hutchins said when he saw a cougar for the second time on June 6.

It was around 6:30pm and he was standing with a group of people on the deck of the Kenkel’s ranch on Cranberry Lake Road.

The cougar was a few hundred yards away, across a field and crossing the road, going in the opposite direction from the group.

Hutchins had seen a cougar earlier in the day, only a few properties away from the Kenkel’s lot, while driving on Pine Road, around 2:30pm.

“The first thing I did was call the neighbours to let them know,” said Riette Kenkel, also standing on the deck at the time of the sighting.

Todd Hunter, a Prince George conservation officer who oversees the Robson Valley said there have been no reports of abnormal or offending behaviour from any cougars, but they are monitoring the area.

“Offending or abnormal behaviour would mean walking down a main street in the middle of the day, going from house to house, or repeatedly coming into town,” he said.

Hunter said at this point he has only received third party information.

“We need people who actually witness the event to report it, to substantiate allegations. Third party information doesn’t give us adequate information to respond.”

Hunter said cougars will follow the path of least resistance, following ATV or snowmobile trails through the woods. Cougar sightings are more frequent in the winter months, Hunter said, when food is scarce. Hunter stressed the need for people to report sightings to aid in his monitoring.

To report a sighting, call the Prince George Conservation Services Office at 1-877-952-7277.