CALGARY- The mountain town of Canmore is on alert, after two cougar attacks in just four days.
A wildlife officer had to shoot and kill two cougars on Sunday, after they attacked a dog. It came on the heels of a similar incident just days earlier.
“Apparently the one on Thursday may actually have been on leash, and the cougar took the dog off-leash—while it was being walked—which is a major public safety concern,” says Fish and Wildlife officer Dave Dickson. “The other one was where a dog was let out in the backyard, which was completely fenced. The action started there, and then the dog ended up dead down in the ravine.”
The nearby Rafter Six ranch has also been affected by the brazen attacks, losing a treasured animal. Nancho, a miniature horse, was dragged into the woods by a cougar just one week before the Canmore attacks.
“He was a character. He had a lot of energy to him,” remembers David Cowley, a wrangler at the ranch. “We had him trained for driving a little cart, so he was in the Stampede parade one year.
“It’s a shock.”
As more communities are built in the wilderness, wildlife experts say animals are adapting to living around humans.
“There is no safe ground,” says Kim Titchener, program director with Wildsmart. “They need to consider that there might be a cougar in their backyard, they should be looking outside, seeing what’s going on and supervising their dog…and of course, always supervising children.”
Those who live in the area are being reminded to ensure dogs are kept on-leash whenever possible.