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

Elkford ED closure “unusual”

The 24-hour closure of the Elkford emergency department has been described as an “unusual situation”.

Two fires of note burning in Southeast Fire Centre

As of Saturday afternoon there were more than 20 fires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre.

Fires highlight need for more volunteers

Short-staffed volunteer fire departments in Elk Valley, South Country rely on mutual aid

Motorcyclist grateful to be alive, thanks fellow drivers

Over a dozen people stopped to assist Lori Hann after she tumbled off her bike on Hwy 3, Saturday

Local athletes ready for BC Summer Games

Twenty-four athletes from the Elk Valley and South Country will compete at the 2018 BC Summer Games.

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

The Free Press editor wins awards

Editor Phil McLachlan has been recognized at the 2018 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards.

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Most Read