In addition to other wildlife, Whistler is also cougar country. These large cats (Puma concolor) generally stay hidden in the landscape and away from humans.
If you encounter a cougar
- Stay calm and keep the cougar in view.
- Pick up children immediately—children frighten easily, 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. 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.
- Always keep pets on leashes.
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. Crouch down as little as possible when bending down to pick up things off of the ground.
If a cougar attacks
Fight back if a cougar attacks. 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.
The Wildsafe BC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program map provides updates on wildlife sightings and the response of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) and other agencies.
- Check the map for wildlife activity, encounters and responses by the Conservation Officer Service in Whistler or other parts of B.C. Species that are included are black bears, grizzlies, bobcats, cougars, coyotes, and more.
- You can also sign up for email or Facebook alerts for specific alert locations (e.g. Whistler or your neighbourhood in Whistler).
Note: Wildlife incidents that are reported to the COS without a specific address are entered on the map with a generic “Whistler Village” location. Not all wildlife sightings are reported to the COS, and as a result, may not appear on this map.