Barry Joneson had a close encounter with a cougar while attempting to do a good deed. A former longtime resident of Clearwater, he moved back to the community a few years ago.

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind Tuesday morning, Nov. 21.

Unfortunately, the encounter ended with police having to shoot the big feline.

According to Joneson, he went to a home in Clearwater’s Weyerhaeuser subdivision after a friend asked him to pick up her daughter’s dead cat that had been killed by a cougar.

The friend’s daughter had two little boys who had been taken to day-care. They wanted Joneson to put the dead cat into a box while the boys were away so they could have a little funeral when they came back home.

READ MORE: Cougar attacks young girl in Wells Gray Park

READ MORE: B.C. man captures cougar take down on camera

To his surprise, he found when he arrived that the cougar had not left the backyard.

“I opened the back gate and I heard a sound like I had never heard before – like a big cat on steroids,” he said. “It was still there and hadn’t left at all, just hiding.”

The cougar took a run at him when he tried to take the dead cat away.

Joneson left the backyard in a hurry, dropping his gloves and the box, but locking the gate behind him.

“I shut that gate because it goes out onto Robson Street, the main street and kids were going by on their way to school,” he said.

When the big cat was busy with its meal again he sat in his vehicle, watching it.

He kept an eye on the big predator because youngsters were walking by going to school.

There was a school-bus stop just two houses down from where the cougar was.

Joneson’s dog, Otis, wanted to fight the big cat but Joneson put him in his truck where he would be safe.

The cougar seemed to be not afraid of anything. It also was limping and appeared to be injured.

If it hadn’t been injured it could easily have jumped the backyard gate and come after him, if it had been so inclined, Joneson felt.

On the other hand, if it hadn’t been cornered in the backyard, it likely would not have charged him in the first place, he said.

He pointed out that there are many deer tracks in the area, so if the cougar had been healthy, it would have had plenty of other opportunities to get food.

After a while the police arrived. By this time the big cat had found a way out of the backyard, possibly by jumping from a pile of leaves.

The police located the cougar several blocks away and dispatched it.

“It was kind of sad, actually,” said Joneson. “I hate to see any animal put down. Still, it was just as well the little boys didn’t go into the backyard while it was there.”

According to Clearwater RCMP Sgt. Grant Simpson, the detachment had received several reports that morning of a cougar in the subdivision.

Police conducted extensive patrols and warned people out walking about the sightings. They urged them to be careful and to keep their pets indoors. Police also kept a close watch over children heading to school or waiting for buses.

Later in the morning, while still conducting patrols, police learned that the cougar had reportedly approached to within three metres of a man (Joneson) and had killed a cat as well.

Police eventually found the cougar several blocks from where it was originally sighted.

An attempt was made to “herd” it away from the settled area.

Unfortunately, the cougar showed no fear when approached by police.

It appeared unhealthy, hungry and had a limp, Simpson said.

Police decided the animal posed a significant risk to the public and had to be put down. Tranquilizing the cougar was not an option because of its behavior and its apparent unhealthy and starving condition.

When it entered the tarped-in porch of a house under renovation, it was shot by police.

Police seized the carcass for the BC Conservation Officer Service, who will perform a necropsy on it.

 

A cougar prowls by the gate to a backyard in Clearwater’s Weyerhaeuser subdivision on Tuesday morning, Nov. 21. The big cat later was put down by RCMP, who decided it posed a significant risk to the public.

Just Posted

Province not doing enough for forestry sector, say Liberals

Although Minister of Forests says government working to diversify industry, rural economies

Local company Northern Homecraft wins big at Northern B.C. awards

Vanderhoof company won in two categories for homes built in Fort St. James area

Stolen truck involved in fatal collision on Highway 16

Wednesday’s two-vehicle crash killed one man, 23, and injured two others

UPDATE: West Fraser to permanently reduce production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The move will affect 75 employees in Quesnel, 60 in Fraser Lake

Feedback sought on environmental impacts of New Gold’s proposed Blackwater Mine

Public is invited to comment in final round of consultation

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read