An emaciated, injured cougar that prompted a warning for the Town of Banff and surrounding area after getting too close to humans has been killed.
Parks Canada issued the warning Monday, after several sightings, including an instance where a man walking his dog was approached by the large cat.
Officials said a mulee deer had been killed on the outskirts of town, but despite the carcass being removed, it’s believed the cougar, which was spotted at least six times, returned to the scene of the kill.
On Thursday, Parks Canada said officers were called to reports of a cougar in town just before 4 a.m. Wednesday, and eventually tracked the cat to the backyard of a home, where it was tranquilized. The animal didn’t try to run away from officers.
“The physical examination of the animal revealed the female cougar to be about eight years old. It was emaciated, dehydrated, and in general poor health; with various injuries, including a broken upper canine tooth,” Parks Canada said.
“Based on tracking and remote camera data, wildlife officials are confident this is the same cougar that approached a man and his dog on the Banff pedestrian bridge on Jan. 10, and was spotted within the Town of Banff twice over the past two days.”
Parks Canada said that based on the fact the cat was hunting in the town and showed aggression toward the man with his dog, it was clear “the cougar’s behaviour indicated it was becoming increasingly less wary of humans as its health deteriorated.”
“After careful consideration, Parks Canada made the difficult decision to euthanize the animal.”
Despite the cougar being killed, the warning is still in effect.