Cougar Caught In Victoria's Empress Hotel


A frightened cougar was returned to the wild yesterday after being cornered by dogs in the elegant Empress Hotel.

Wildlife officials said the male cougar, about 4 years old, had spent the past four days wandering through the Vancouver Island community.

Conservation officer Bob Smirl said he fired three tranquilizer darts into the cowering cat in the underground parking garage of the turn-of-the-century hotel.

"He was a confused and scared cat. He was obviously trying to find his way out of Victoria and didn't know where to go," said Smirl.

The cougar was taken into the mountains north of Victoria and