To the Editor,
The recent cougar attack on an 18-month old boy at Swim Beach on Kennedy Lake, like many other such incidents, could have been avoided with purchase and use of a device that will frighten away any wildlife predator.
I recommend to everyone who camps or hikes in Vancouver Island wilderness regions that they carry a canister/airhorn. A small portable horn which when triggered will frighten virtually any animal into running away.
I encountered a bear on Ship Creek mountain near Port Alberni a few years ago. When the big bruin came too close for comfort, I directed a long blast from an airhorn at it.
The bear jumped backwards, turned and ran up a steep embankment. The extreme high frequency squeal of an airhorn is painful to an animal’s ears and will cause any creature to take flight.
This potentially lifesaving noisemaker can be purchased at any marine goods shop or any “big box” centre. But be warned that the extreme shriek it emits can also damage human ears and those of pets too.
Nevertheless, properly used it can save lives and prevent serious physical and emotional injury.