COUGAR SIGHTING

A cougar and her kittens are making the rounds of the Village, particularly in the proximity of Pine Cone Lane and Sun Valley Place. Please be aware of your surroundings when you are out walking, and keep your pets and small children close at all times. 

Take precautions to prevent contact with a cougar: 

  • Keep pets indoors or in secure kennels at night for safety.
  • Do not leave pet food or food scraps outside.
  • Store garbage in cans with tight-fitting lids so odors do not attract small mammals.
  • When children are playing outdoors, closely supervise them and be sure they are indoors by dusk.
  • Light walkways and remove any heavy vegetation or landscaping near the house.
  • Avoid feeding wildlife or landscaping with shrubs and plants that deer prefer to eat. Remember, predators follow prey.
  • If you do come face to face with a cougar, your actions can either help or hinder a quick retreat by the animal. Here are some tips:
  • Stop, stand tall and don’t run. Pick up small children immediately. Running and rapid movements may trigger an attack. Remember, a cougar’s instinct is to chase.
  • Face the cougar, talk to it firmly and slowly back away. Always leave the animal an escape route.
  • Try to appear larger than the cougar by getting above it. (e.g., stepping up onto a stump). If wearing a jacket, hold it open to further increase your size.
  • Do not take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
  • Never approach the animal, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens. Never corner the animal or offer it food.
  • If the animal does not flee and shows signs of aggression (crouches with ears back, teeth bared, hissing, tail twitching, and hind feet pumping in preparation to jump), be more assertive. Shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back using anything within reach, including sticks, rocks, shovels, backpacks, and clothing — even your bare hands. Generally, if you are aggressive enough, a cougar will flee, realizing it has made a mistake.

Please contact the Conservation Officer (RAPP line 1-877-952-7277) or call the Municipality of Radium Hot Spring 347-6455 if you sight a cougar.