Cougar gets a little too close for comfort at Port Hardy hospital

Published: April 16, 2018

Cougar at Port Hardy hospital Photo courtesy of Danielle Nye/Global News

Cougars are elusive, mysterious creatures, which most of us will never catch a glimpse of in the wild. Or at least, that’s true most of the time. Once in a while, the big cats act just like their domesticated cousins: they perch on windowsills and check out what’s happening on the other side of the glass.

That’s what happened last Tuesday in Port Hardy, British Columbia. A young-looking cougar sat on a planter just outside a local hospital for about ten minutes and stared through the window, apparently curious about what was going on inside.

Cougar staring through the window at a Port Hardy hospital
Photo courtesy of Danielle Nye/Global News

“He was not scared at all,” Danielle Nye, an x-ray technologist at the hospital, told Global News. Nye was informed about the animal’s presence around 11 am by a coworker.

“It wasn’t startled by the amount of people that were looking at it. It kind of just looked at us and then sauntered away eventually,” she said. “It was pretty scary how tame it was.”

The cougar wandered off after a few minutes, but the authorities were still notified of the sighting. Both the RCMP and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service sent officers over immediately to investigate. However, due to weather, the search for the animal was called off before the cougar was found.

Cougar wanders off near Port Hardy hospital
Photo courtesy of Danielle Nye/Global News

“I have a small dog and live across the highway from the hospital and worry about the safety of pets,” Nye told Global News.

According to the B.C. Ministry of Environment website, people living in areas known to be frequented by cougars are advised to bring their pets in at night and to not feed them outside. If you do ever run into one of the big cats, they recommend making yourself look bigger and slowly backing away from the animal.

Cougar glances back after leaving Port Hardy hospital
Photo courtesy of Danielle Nye/Global News

This isn’t the first time in recent memory that cougars and humans have had run-ins on Vancouver Island, but such incidents are relatively rare.

Still, we’re not sure how we’d feel after glancing out the window and seeing one of those big cats starring back.

Featured Video