Shayla Aumack (right) and her grandmother, Leah Hernandez, at their home in Slocan City. Photo submitted

B.C. woman finds cougar inside her house

She chased the cougar around her home for 30 minutes

The big cat keeps coming back to Slocan City.

A young cougar that was chased around and inside a house early this month has returned to the area at least twice since.

Shayla Aumack, who now carries an airhorn and doesn’t walk alone at night, first came upon the cougar as she returned home from her Slocan Village Market job at about 8:30 p.m. on March 3.

There was a knee-high tall cougar just inside the open door of her shed, which is attached to her home, just on the outskirts of Slocan City.

“I was shocked. Our eyes locked. I knew what I was looking at, but it was still hard to believe,” said Aumack, 20, who began backing up away from the door towards her grandmother’s home about 50 feet.

She was alerting a friend via Facebook messenger while yelling at Levi Grey, her roommate — who was inside the house — to not come outside.

“I said ‘Don’t open the door’ but he only heard ‘Open the door,’” said Aumack, adding that once Grey opened the door her large Akbash dog, Koda, ran from the house and began chasing the cougar. Within a minute, Grey was outside and the dog had chased the cougar back inside the house.

Aumack managed to grab Koda before the pet went inside, leaving the cougar alone inside the house with Aumack’s four pet cats.

“I was freaking out about my cats,” she said, worried about her four pets.

Then her grandmother, Leah Hernandez, in her 60s, grabbed an axe and hurried inside Kayla’s house. She was soon followed by Grey, 23, armed with a baseball bat and a friend, Robin Henderson, who picked up a work hammer.

“They chased the cougar around inside the house. They were all really close to the cat. Just a few feet away,” said Aumack, stressing that no one wanted to hurt the animal.

The cat was not aggressive, although Aumack said “It did hiss at my grandma once when she moved her axe towards it. “

At one point, the cougar was stuck between the door outside Aumack’s bedroom and the door in an upstairs hallway. The cat finally freed itself, ran downstairs and hopped into the kitchen sink. Later the animal ran around the living room, breaking several wine glasses, knocking the phone on the floor and tossed papers and items off the piano.

“It just wanted to get out,” said Aumack. Eventually the cougar ran out of the house after almost 30 minutes.

As the cougar took off into a wooded area “we all looked at each other and just laughed. it was so ridiculous. We can’t believe it happened.”

Her four cats — Kalala, Diablo, Wobble, Jiraiya — were all found safe hiding inside the house.

Aumack said she called animal conservation officers, but they did not respond to the scene “because the cougar had already gone.”

About a week later “the cougar came back and was on my balcony,” said Aumack, adding she easily shooed the big cat away, adding she now calls it “the big kitty.”

Last week, the same cougar was found in a nearby home’s greenhouse.

“He was chased out and down the road,” said Aumack, who was told about the incident by neighhours.

To prevent the cougar from going into her home anymore, Aumack has now closed the shed door outside of her house.

“I’m still pretty careful,” she said.

Conservation officer Nathan Smienk said the incident is “an important reminder to everyone to keep their pets inside and your doors closed.”

He also reminded everyone who has a wildlife issue to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

 

Shayla Aumack took this photo of a young cougar inside her Slocan City home earlier this month.

Just Posted

After several storms, Haida Gwaii looks set for Christmas calm

The coast is finally clear and the ferries underway. After a major… Continue reading

Rainbow Wharf closed to industry, pending repairs

It’s still good for watching sunsets, but for now Port Clements really… Continue reading

On the Wing: Of treaties, feathers and shorebirds

By Margo Hearne It’s a blustery morning. The Green-winged Teal, which returned… Continue reading

Haida Gwaii cleaning up after tree-toppling storm

Crews working to restore power to Queen Charlotte, Skidegate, Tlell, Port Clements, and Tow Hill

In Pictures: Masset Christmas concert stocks lots of laughs

Masset’s community Christmas concert knocked everyone’s yellow socks off last Friday night.… Continue reading

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Most Read