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A majestic cougar stealthily prowling in the snow

Local Cougars In Your Area

If you live in Canmore, keep your dog on a leash and walk with a group

Parks Alberta warned about frequent cougar sightings near Canmore and Bow Valley Provincial Park in January.

Cougars had been spotted near Cougar Creek, Horseshoe Loop Trails, Montane Traverse Trails, and the surrounding areas.

But these aren’t the cougars you’d want to meet at a motel. These cougars have pointy fangs and sharp claws.

“There have not been any attacks or close encounters with humans. With a large number of elk and deer in and around the area, it is important to exercise caution,” Bridget Burgess-Ferrari, a spokeswoman for Alberta Forestry, Parks, and Tourism, told the Calgary Herald.

Burgess-Ferrari noted that cougar tracks had been noticed in addition to sightings in the area. People should take these warning signs seriously, even if there hasn’t been an attack.

To avoid a surprise encounter with a cougar (to avoid having to change your pants), Parks Alberta suggests making lots of noise and travelling in groups.

If you run into a cougar, do not run or turn your back on it. Instead, keep eye contact with the cougar and make yourself appear as large as possible.

Parks Alberta also warns owners to keep their dogs on leashes or leave them at home. To a cougar, your dog is a walking appetizer.

According to the Bow Valley Riding Association’s (BVRA) Facebook page, a cougar is in the Horseshoe Loop area, and the association’s property is located in the Indian Flats.

Indian Flats is popular for off-leash dog walking. But the Indian Flats is also a known kill site. A kill site is just as awful as it sounds; it’s an area predators use for killing and butchering their prey.

“We know that many people use Indian Flats for off-leash dog walking. Wildlife usage in this area is just one of the reasons why we have clear signage asking the public to keep their dog on a leash. If there were ever a serious incident with horses or wildlife and an off-leash dog, we would have to reconsider how the public accesses this area,” the BVRA commented.

The BVRA first reported a cougar kill of a wild animal on the Indian Flats last December, along with a graphic image of the aftermath.

The association also reported a cougar feeding on an animal carcass on January 6, 2023, in the Horseshoe area. Another sighting was reported three days later, on January 9, 2023, in someone’s backyard.

Canmore’s Cougars have been feeling bold lately. If you spot a cougar in the area, call Alberta Parks at 403-491-7755.

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