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

 

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

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
UPDATE: Search suspended for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

Most Read