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Reports of an aggressive cougar close Campbell River recreational area

Recreation sites and trails BC confirms Amor Lake area unsafe for public use

Reports of an aggressive cougar at the Amor Lake Recreation Site near Campbell River have resulted in its closure until further notice.

Recreation Sites and and Trails BC District Officer Graham Cameron said that there were events on the weekend that lead to this decision.

“A family pushed out of the site on Sunday night (June 25) around midnight,” said Cameron. “They had a close encounter with the same animal during daylight hours on Saturday afternoon.”

The cougar had been hanging around the family’s campsite and was a few feet away from one of the tents at midnight, lacking any fear of people, according to Cameron. The parents recognized the immediate risk to the children and left the camp site immediately, returning to town for the duration of the night, recovering their gear in the morning.

Third party reports indicate that the animal was seen on Blackwater resource road, not far from Amor Lake. Those individuals believed the animal may have been injured.

“The family are very experienced working and recreating within the outdoors. They are familiar with managing animal interactions and behaviour within the forest,” said Cameron.

Cameron checked the site shortly after noon on Monday, with another search on Tuesday.

“The idea is to limit site occupancy in the hope the animal moves on,” said Cameron. “Further encounters could result in requiring to track and capture or euthanize the animal, which we hope to avoid.”

Due to this, the recreation site around Amor Lake is closed indefinitely. Cameron cited section 20(2)(3) of B.C.’s Forest Recreation regulations, Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), which establish regulations for recreation sites.

Warning signs have been posted at the Twin Lakes portage onto Amor lake, targeting paddlers using the Sayward Canoe Route. However, boat launch for accessing Amor Lake is still permitted, with would-be boaters entering at their own risk.

Cameron knows the inconvenience of this timing with Canada Day weekend fast approaching.

“Given the ongoing risk, we ask the public to respect this closure and avoid the site,” said Cameron.

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About the Author: Edward Hitchins

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