Challenging terrain biggest hurdle in cougar hunt, tracker says

By Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist  August 31, 2011

Cougar trackers, using specially trained dogs, bushwhacked through dense, temperate rainforest Wednesday in search of the animal that attacked an 18-month old boy this week.

“We’ve done an extensive search. Unfortunately, as yet, we haven’t been able to find the cat,” said Dani Thompson, one of the search leaders, said from Kennedy Lake in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve…

Monday’s attack is extremely rare in the national park and Parks Canada takes the incident very seriously, she said. Protection of the public is one of its key mandates.

However, Paul Paquet, senior scientist for Raincoast Conservation Foundation, who has a doctorate in zoology, said protection of wildlife is also in the mandate.

Paquet, who co-authored a major report on cougars for the B.C. government, said his research has shown that it is unlikely that trackers can reliably determine if they have caught the targeted cougar.

To read the rest of this article please visit the Victoria Times Colonist website.

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