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

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.

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

Just Posted

Crews are battling a fire near Ashcroft. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Crews battling grass fire above CP tracks near Ashcroft

Fire started around 9:30 a.m. and is moving through sagebrush away from town

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Industrial park slated for Watch Lake Road

Building company Omnitek to start building new plant on 32-acre site

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Vincent Doumeizel, senior advisor at the United Nations Global Compact on Oceans, as well as director for the Food Programme for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, pulls up some sugar kelp seaweed off the French coast in April 2020. He was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony of the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival. (Vincent Doumeizel/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

Those who disobey could be subject to a $230 fine

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Most Read