A dog was attacked by a cougar on Michel Creek Road a few days ago and cougar sightings have been reported at the Elk Valley Mobile Home Park, Pine Avenue and on Tamarack Street in Sparwood.
Cougar Safety tips
Cougars are wide ranging animals and may show up in urban settings from time to time. If they are passing through it is important they do not find food that may encourage them to stay. Many urban incidents occur with young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt effectively or older animals that can no longer hunt in the wilds.
Feed pets indoors and keep pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range, hunt small birds and rodents and, in turn, become prey themselves.
Bird feeders can attract cougars and bears. Seeds on the ground can accumulate, attracting rodents and, in turn, attracting cougars and other predators that feed on the rodents.
Never feed deer or other possible prey species for cougars. While deer may be pleasant to watch, they can attract large predators such as cougars into residential neighborhoods. As well, urban deer present their own set of problems to you and your neighbors.
Deer are one of the cougar’s primary food sources. If deer are abundant in an area, especially a wintering area, then there is a good possibility to find cougars using the same area.
Cougars are most active during the period from dusk until dawn and this period requires extra vigilance by hikers while in cougar country.
If you encounter a Cougar:
STAY CALM, DO NOT RUN, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
Pick up small children and small pets
Let the Cougar know you are human-NOT prey
Make yourself as large and as mean as possible
Use your voice in a loud and assertive manner
Back away slowly. Never turn your back on wildlife
If the Cougar attacks, fight back with everything that you’ve got, it is a predatory attack
Never feed or approach wildlife and report cougar sightings and cougar kills to the 24 hour Conservation Officer Hotline on 1-877-952-7277.