Parks Canada has issued a cougar warning for some of the hiking trails in the Radium Hot Springs area of Kootenay National Park.
Two cougar attacks occurred upon sheep within a period of a week during the month of March 2012. Although the cougar(s) have so far shown no aggression toward humans, members of the public are advised to use caution when traveling in the area and Parks Canada will continue to monitor for cougar activity.
Cougars, while rarely seen, are constant residents in Kootenay National Park but generally avoid people. To avoid encounters with cougars, Parks Canada suggests a few simple guidelines for people who find themselves in areas where there could be cougars:
Travel in groups and keep everyone together including children. Walk your dog on a leash.
Make noise to alert cougars of your presence.
Leave the area if you see or smell a dead animal.
- If you do encounter a cougar, immediately pick up children and pets. Do not run or turn your back on a cougar — maintain eye contact, make yourself appear as large as possible, back away slowly, and always leave room for the animal to escape. If attacked, fight back and use bear spray.
Parks Canada is closely monitoring the area and advising the public as the situation changes. For up-to-date information and to report a cougar sighting, contact the Banff Dispatch at 403-762-1470 or visit the ‘Important Bulletins’ section of the Kootenay National Park website at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/kootenay/index.aspx
For more information:
Safety Guide to Cougars
BC Ministry of Environment