Cougar shot in Calgary backyard after chase from Starbucks through golf course
A cougar was killed by officials Wednesday morning in the southeast Calgary community of Willow Park after it “approached” two police officers before running through a nearby golf course and then into a backyard.
“I must say it was huge,” golfer Ray Madison said. “I don’t know how much they would weigh or anything, but it was pretty big.”
Police said it was first seen near the Willow Park Starbucks at about 9:14 a.m. and was then spotted on the grounds at the Willow Park Golf and Country Club.
WATCH: Security video provided by Danielle Keats shows a cougar run past a Calgary business Wednesday.
“There was a sighting of a cougar on the sixth tee box by one of our golfers,” Willow Park Golf and Country Club business manager Margaret Pigeon told News Talk 770.
“The cougar was walking along the fence line and that number six is across from Willow Park Village, right off Bonaventure Drive.”
Pigeon said wildlife sightings are not unusual at the course, explaining coyotes, deer and bobcats had been spotted in the past.
“Apparently the police already had an encounter on Willow Park Village and they came here to continue the hunt for the cougar.”
Head pro golfer Cathy Burton said she spoke to one of the police officers who first encountered the animal while having a coffee at Starbucks.
“Then it ran into a window, they drew their guns and that’s how the pursuit started,” Burton said. “And they, of course, came to the golf course because they saw it hop the fence here.”
Willow Park Village Chiropractic staffer Amanda West also caught sight of the cat.
“I jumped up because it was a cougar and it was just walking along the sidewalk,” she said.
“We were in total disbelief that we were seeing a cougar in the middle of our workplace.”
Multiple police officers as well as Fish and Wildlife officials were on scene.
“A Fish and Wildlife officer is on scene after a report that a cougar came towards two police officers leaving a coffee shop along Bonaventure Drive in Calgary,” Alberta Justice and Solicitor General spokesperson Brendan Cox told Global News in an email Wednesday morning.
The golf course was temporarily closed while the cougar was tracked and area residents were asked to stay in their homes.
The cougar was found and shot in the backyard of a home on Willow Ridge Place, with officials citing “habituated, potentially aggressive behaviour” as factors in the decision.
“We euthanized the animal because it was safer to do so for the public in the area,” Alberta Fish and Wildlife’s Ron Wiebe said. “It’s a faster situation, making it safer for everyone involved, and we don’t have the cougar becoming more flighty and leaving the area.”
Provincial officials had removed the cat as of noon.
With files from Global’s Tony Tighe and News Talk 770’s Aurelio Perri
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.