Historically, cougars have been found in Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley. As human activities increase in these areas, there is a greater likelihood of human-cougar encounters.
People living in cougar country must take special precautions, especially residents living on the edge of town or near wooded areas. Alberta Environment is continuing to monitor cougar activity and is working to protect this species while minimizing the risk to residents throughout the Bow Valley and Kananaskis Country.
Please Take the Following Precautions:
• When children are outdoors encourage them to play in supervised groups, away from dense vegetation, and return inside before dusk.
• When walking or skiing in or near wooded areas, travel in groups, consider carrying a walking stick and pepper spray, and make noise to alert cougars of your presence.
• Cougars are opportunistic hunters. Free-roaming pets may attract and be attacked by cougars. Dogs and cats are easy prey for many predators and should never be allowed to roam freely. Bring your pets in at night.
• Walk your pets during the day and avoid identified wildlife corridors such as along waterways and wooded areas. Wildlife corridors are locations where predators such as cougars live. Consider using an alternative location.
• Do not leave any attractants out such as pet food and garbage. Always use the wildlifeproof garbage bins.
• Avoid areas where carcasses have been left and be aware that cougars often cover their kill with forest debris.
If You See a Cougar:
• Never approach cougars and always leave plenty of room for them to easily escape.
• Face the cougar, avoid eye contact, and slowly back away. DO NOT run or play dead.
• Gather up small children and pets.
• Make yourself appear larger by raising your arms or hold an object above your head.
If a Cougar is Aggressive:
• Actions such as shouting, waving a stick, or throwing rocks may help prevent an attack; appear as though you are another predator and not prey.
• If a cougar attacks, fight back! Use whatever is at hand to defend yourself.
IF YOU SEE A COUGAR OR FRESH SIGNS OF CARNIVORE ACTIVITY, LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY AND CONTACT ALBERTA ENVIRONMENT AT (403) 678-5508. To be connected toll-free, dial 310-0000.