Man on fishing trip gets video of swimming cougar

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Cougar takes a dip in British Columbia

Cougar takes a dip in British Columbia

Todd Culos, an IT worker from Seattle, expected to see a lot of wildlife on his fishing trip to British Columbia for his dad's 70th birthday, but nothing like this.

After spying otters, a gray whale and even a humpback, he spotted something brown in the water. "For a couple of seconds, I thought it was an otter," Culos said, "but no, this thing has ears and is doing a doggy paddle."

It was a cougar, Culos said, crossing one of the saltwater inlets that serrate the edge of Vancouver Island, only minutes from the small town of Tahsis.

Apparently while the sight is quite rare, it's not that unusual for a cougar to take to the water. Cougars are known to swim from island to island, mostly to hunt deer, which also take to the water, sometimes to avoid cougars. The large cats also are known to eat seals, so that might have been another target, Culos said.

Todd's brother, Adam, stretched his hand out toward the cougar. "My father was freaking out," he said. Adam has run into cougars before, as part of his job as a forester, and felt safe inside the boat.

The Culos family ended their trip with more than just compelling video. They also walked away with a generous haul of salmon, halibut, red snapper and cod.

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