Kelowna park closed due to cougar sightings

Public told to stay away from Scenic Canyon Regional Park near Gallagher's Canyon neighbourhood.

  • Sep. 27, 2013 7:00 p.m.

Two more cougar sightings in a section of Scenic Canyon Regional Park have forced a closure of a section of the park in East Kelowna.

“Since we posted warning signs earlier this week, we’ve received additional reports of people seeing cougars in the natural area of the park below the Gallagher’s Canyon neighbourhood,” said Regional District of Central Okanagan communications officer Bruce Smith.

“The latest occurred yesterday afternoon while a woman was walking her dog along a trail in this area of the park.  To ensure visitor safety and to reduce the possibility of any confrontation with the animals, we’ve decided to immediately close the park between KLO Creek and Mission Creek, the McCulloch Road and Field Road parking lots and the Layer Cake Mountain Lookout that’s adjacent to Gallaghers Pinnacle Way.”

Signs have been posted advising this area of the park is closed. Visitors are reminded that anyone found inside a regional park that has been closed due to a potential hazard could be fined $500.

“The Mission Creek Greenway from the Hollywood Road entrance to Scenic Canyon Regional Park to the Layer Cake Mountain Lookout is still open and is not affected by the latest closure.  The BC Conservation Officer Service continues to be updated by our staff whenever we receive reports of cougar sightings and activity in the park,” Smith said

The Ministry of Environment’s Safety Guide to Cougars advises that while human conflicts with these large cats are extremely rare and an attack is highly unlikely, it pays to be prepared especially when in a natural setting, like the Greenway through the Scenic Canyon Regional Park corridor.

The safety guide recommends people should travel in groups of two or more and that you make enough noise so that you don’t surprise a cougar.  Carry a sturdy walking stick that can be used as a weapon if necessary and keep children and pets close at hand and under control.

Visitors to our regional parks must have their dog on a leash at all times and must stay on designated trails.

Finally, the guide says people should watch for cougar tracks and signs and remember that cougars are unpredictable.  If you should encounter a cougar, stay calm, talk to it in a confident voice, pick up all children off the ground and never turn your back on the cougar.  Instead, back away slowly, remaining upright and do all you can to make yourself look larger, and always give a cougar an avenue of escape.

If you observe a cougar or bear within Scenic Canyon Regional Park or other Regional Park please contact the regional parks services office at 250-469-6232 and the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Just Posted

Driving Change: A Kelowna man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Kelowna examines options to connect Rutland with rail trail

Public feedback on the four options is available online until May 6

Wanted man nabbed after flipping car in Kelowna

A wanted man is now facing charges

Highway 33 to re-open Friday

Traffic expected to resume at around 7 p.m.

Dangerous driver stopped by spike belt in Lake Country

The driver was arrested in Lake Country after fleeing the scene in Kelowna

Kelowna properties flooded along Heimlich Road

Flooding started on Spiers Road Tuesday and continued into properties, said an area resident

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

The “industry will collapse” : South Okanagan winery reacts to ruling

Okanagan Falls winery concerned for the future of the industry after Supreme Court ruling

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Rock titans rule Prospera Place

Peter Frampton and Steve Miller have been friends for 51 years.

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Most Read