Lisa Nielsen of Cumberland encountered this cougar at the south end of Buttle Lake after a backcountry camping trip to Bedwell Lake, Big Interior Mountain and Septimus Mountain in Strathcona Park with her boyfriend Caleb Overbye. Photo by Lisa Nielsen

Lisa Nielsen of Cumberland encountered this cougar at the south end of Buttle Lake after a backcountry camping trip to Bedwell Lake, Big Interior Mountain and Septimus Mountain in Strathcona Park with her boyfriend Caleb Overbye. Photo by Lisa Nielsen

VIDEO: Strathcona Park cougar sighting caps off gruelling trip for backpacking duo

Animal startled while drinking out of Buttle Lake

A cougar sighting lifted the spirits of two exhausted backpackers after they encountered the animal at the south end of Buttle Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park on Sunday.

Lisa Nielsen and Caleb Overbye captured clear footage of a cougar attempting to run up a bluff at the Shepherd Creek Trail pullout around 8:30 p.m. on July 26. The two were returning from a gruelling backpacking trip in the Bedwell Lake area of Strathcona Provincial Park when they spooked the cougar at the end of what was a hot, dry day with temperatures of about 32 C.

“That day was like 32 degrees, like not a cloud in the sky on Sunday and so it was super hot and the cougar had been drinking at the lake,” Nielsen said.

As they came upon the cougar it bolted back across the road and attempted to flee up a bluff that it apparently had come down.

“It was just coming up from the lake, which was right there, to cross the road,” the Comox Valley resident said. “And we came around the corner and spooked it. And of course, the way that it came down was the way that it tried to run up, which is why in the video, you’ll see it tries to scale this rock wall and it actually falls and it’s hanging from a tree and then tries to scale it again (and) realizes it can’t get up. That’s when it runs back down and runs behind my car.”

The whole encounter only lasted about 30 seconds but it left an impression on Nielsen.

“It was super cool,” she said.

She grew up in northern B.C. so she is no stranger to wildlife encounters but it was still impressive to see the big cat so close.

“It was like 15 feet away,” Nielsen said. “It was pretty special.”

This came after a tough backpacking trip and lifted the pair’s spirits.

“So it was a big, buggy, hot, sweaty trip and we were just so happy to be back in the car and then kind of feeling a little, like, disheartened, I guess, after the weekend of abuse and then we saw that and…then it was so great.

“So it totally made the trip worth it.”

RELATED: Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

RELATED: Cute, fluffy, heartwarming: Here are B.C.’s top animal stories of 2019


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Strathcona ParkWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Caleb Overbye (left) and Lisa Nielsen encountered a cougar at the south end of Buttle Lake July returning home from a gruelling backpacking trip to the Bedwell Lake area of Strathcona Park. Photo courtesy Lisa Nielsen

Caleb Overbye (left) and Lisa Nielsen encountered a cougar at the south end of Buttle Lake July returning home from a gruelling backpacking trip to the Bedwell Lake area of Strathcona Park. Photo courtesy Lisa Nielsen

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
UPDATED: VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

Salon owner Philip Ferreira with the PPE collection box at The Natural Hair Salon, 618 View St. (Mariah Johal photo)
Victoria salon inspires more mask recycling

Anyone welcome to drop disposable masks in bin outside View Street shop

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read