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LETTER: Killing of cougar at Selkirk Waterway didn’t follow protocol

A cougar was dispatched after it was spotted twice in the Selkirk Waterfront area on Nov. 21. (Photo supplied by VicPD)

A growing group of Victoria citizens is determined to discover why normal protocol was not followed in the killing of an adult cougar by VicPD at the Selkirk Waterway. Typically under similar conditions a BC Conservation officer would attend and make every effort to tranquilize the cougar and relocate it to a remote site as was done over 20 years ago with an adult cougar that had wandered into the Empress Hotel underground parkade, a site with many people similar to the Selkirk site.

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The provincial conservation officer inspector (Drew) in charge of Vancouver Island operations confirmed a fellow conservation officer based in Duncan was on his way driving to Victoria to the Selkirk Waterway site to attend to the cougar when it was killed by a VicPD officer.

The driving time from Duncan to Victoria is relatively short (45 minutes, 40 kilometres) strongly suggesting VicPD’s decision to not wait a few minutes for the CO’s arrival before shooting and killing the cougar was an unfortunate and irreversible mistake. Multiple VicPD releases announced “a decision was made to dispatch the animal” because of “how long it would take for the BC Conservation officers to arrive.”

Jim Cuthbert