Wildlife officers shot and killed a cougar in north Nanaimo Tuesday. The animal, which was trapped live in the Hammond Bay area, was put to death the same morning.
The B.C. Conservation Service had received numerous complaints in recent weeks of a cougar roaming an area heavily populated by deer, which are drawn to the area by food put out by humans.
Unlike the cougar killed with a spear Sunday, after it attacked a woman on Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound, this animal had not made any threatening actions toward humans.
"Even though it hadn't shown any aggression, (it was) the fact it had become habituated - the fact it was comfortable around people," said conservation officer Sgt. Ben York.
"We won't move it somewhere else on Vancouver Island and have the same behaviour. It had obviously learned the urban environment is a rich environment. There are no guarantees it wouldn't take the next step and attack a pet, and then attack a human."
"It's extremely rare, for a cougar to maul a human, but we don't want to risk it," said York.
York said the male cat was fairly young and small, weighing around 36 kilograms.
Neighbours who feed deer in the area need to know their actions unwittingly contributed to the death of the wild cat.
"If you support a population of prey, eventually you'll have predators as well," York said.
It isn't known if it is the same cat spotted last week in the Uplands-Oliver roads area, but York said it wouldn't surprise him.
"In nature, their home range can be well over 100 square kilometres."
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