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B.C. woman captures 'terrifying' stare-down with cougar in her yard

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2018-09-12 Clare Hennig
a cat sitting on top of a grass covered field: Marnie Robinson © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Marnie Robinson

The photos are enough to make most people's blood run cold: a close-up shot of a cougar with a kill, lounging in the backyard of home on Vancouver Island.

Marnie Robinson, who lives outside Port Alberni, B.C., had just returned home from dropping her children off at school when she heard a noise in her yard.

"I heard what sounded like a cat fight so I ran up to my door," she said. She opened her door before closing it quickly to prevent her dog from bolting outside.

When she looked out of a window, she only spotted a deer at first, lying on its back, legs flailing in the air, about 12 metres away.

Then she saw the cougar.

"It was so calm and still, it had its mouth on the deer's neck and was wagging its tail," Robinson told Gregor Craigie, host of CBC's On The Island.

"That was terrifying, I didn't know what to do."

'It's really eerie'

Robinson grabbed her camera and started snapping photos.

"Once it saw me, it just stared me down," she said.

"It wouldn't take its eyes off of me. We had this stare-down for a while, which was terrifying."

Robinson lives in a rural area surrounded by forest, about 10 minutes drive from Port Alberni. There are many deer, she said, but she's never encountered a cougar before.

"I've always been aware that there are cougars around but now I'm probably a little more nervous because it's just made it so much more real," she said.

Since then, she's been taking extra precautions like meeting her children at the school bus drop-off to walk with them back to the house.

"It's really eerie ... knowing that they are out there and we can't see them," she said.

With files from On The Island

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