Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of cougars in the world. And while conflicts between cougars and humans are rare, being prepared for a cougar encounter will help minimize the chance of harm to either yourself or these majestic creatures.
What to do if you see a cougar
From the Province of British Columbia:
The following are guidelines in the event that you encounter a cougar. Stay calm and keep the cougar in view, pick up children immediately. Children frighten easily and the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack. Back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape
Make yourself look as large as possible and keep the cougar in front of you at all times. Never run or turn your back on a cougar, sudden movement may provoke an attack
If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively, maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noise. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons
If a cougar attacks, fight back, convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey, use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar's face and eyes. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and are not prey.
Contact the Conservation Officer Service Call Centre 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) if a cougar poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety.