After conservation officers did not find the cougar that had acted aggressively the week before on the Holland Creek Trail, the popular Ladysmith trail has been re-opened.
The Town of Ladysmith is putting up temporary signage to warn people that this area is a wildlife corridor, and conservation officers will continue to monitor the Holland Creek Trail for activity.
Conservation officer Troy Sterling was one of the conservation officers in Ladysmith over the weekend. He explains that they installed electronic surveillance to monitor the cougar’s movements and track the animal. As well, they used what is referred to as a predator call to see if they could attract the cougar.
“It mimics a wounded animal,” he said. “It did not bring the cougar in.”
Now that the trail is open again, conservation officers will be watching closely.
“We’ll be monitoring it and waiting for more sightings from the public so we can respond,” said Sterling.
The Town of Ladysmith re-opened the Holland Creek Trail Monday (Aug. 18) after the trail was closed following reports of an aggressive cougar during the afternoon of Aug. 10.
“At this point in time, I think everything has ben done to see if the cougar is in this area,” said Clayton Postings, the Town’s director of Parks, Recreation and Culture. “It certainly could return, or any cougar could, but it seems like everything’s been done to see if it’s here.”
Postings says the Town will be posting temporary signage regarding cougar and bear safety right now, and the Town is working with conservation officers on more permanent signage to warn people that there are large predatory animals in this area and to explain how to report sightings.
Conservation officers remind the public that this trail is part of a corridor frequently used by large predators such as bear and cougars, and people entering the trail system should be vigilant and prepared to encounter cougars and bears. All dogs should be on a leash when on the Holland Creek Trail system, and children should stay close to adults.
Sterling notes that there are usually two bears around the Holland Creek Trail, and if they aren’t here already, they likely will be soon, as they search for salmon.
The Town of Ladysmith has provided safety measures for people who encounter a cougar at www.ladysmith.ca.
For more cougar awareness information, visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/cougsf.htm.
If you see a cougar, call the Conservation Office at 1-877-952-7277 or the Town of Ladysmith at 250-245-6400.