In the past decade, there’s been an increase in sightings of cougars in Alberta.
Recently, signs that say “WARNING: Cougar in Area” have been posted in some parts of Fish Creek Provincial Park, after a cougar spotting was reported in the area. Read Calgary Herald’s news report for more details.
Cougars are also known as pumas or mountain lions.
- Adult cougars weigh 40 to 90 kg and can be up to 2.5 m long, much larger than a house cat. Don’t attempt to approach and pet them.
- Cougars are great hunters that pretty on deer, elk, moose, sheep and other mammals.
- They talk and rush their prey from the ground.
- They are usually shy of humans and would avoid human activity whenever they can.
Prevent conflicts with cougars in the wild:
- Stay alert for signs (tracks, scat, scrapes, etc.) and don’t wear headphones.
- Travel in larger groups and keep children between adults.
- Keep your dog close on a leash, as cougars can be attracted to dogs
- Carry bear spray, a noisemaker and a walking stick.
- Keep a working cell phone handy in case you need to call for help.
If you saw a cougar at a distance and it’s not focused on you
- Don’t provoke it. Don’t run. Prepare to use your bear spray.
- Gather everyone (dog included) and slowly back away while keeping your eye it.
If the cougar is approaching you, hissing, staring or following your movements
- Don’t run. Don’t turn your back. Pick up your children/dog without crouching down.
- Shout at the cougar and make yourself look larger (opening your jacket, waving your arms, etc.)
- Use your noisemaker and bear spray.
- Drop something to distract the cougar.
If the cougar makes contacts (hopefully this never happens!)
- Don’t play dead. Keep fighting back.
- Continue using your bear spray and use anything available as a weapon.
- Aim at its eyes and face.
Animals such as bears, moose, coyotes and cougars can become dangerous.
- In an emergency where there is immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
- For non-emergency situations call Alberta Fish & Wildlife at 403-297-6423 (between 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday) or 1-800-642-3800 (outside of office hours).
Word of the Day:Scat: droppings, stools
FAQs about cougars: https://www.alberta.ca/cougars.aspx
Stay safe outdoors when traveling in cougar country: https://www.alberta.ca/cougars-and-outdoor-recreation.aspx