Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cougar spotted in Pincher Creek

Iris Reed image
Toni Lucas

A cougar was spotted in the town of Pincher Creek area at approximately 8:30 pm Tuesday, February 9. Iris and Ian Reed were in their vehicle when they first spotted the cougar.  Iris said "At first we just thought it was a big dog cause we were back aways. So we went to go see if we could find him and then we spotted him going in the compound and that's when we noticed it was a big cougar." Fish and Wildlife Officers Matt Voramwald from Pincher Creek and John Clarke from Crowsnest Pass did see the cougar in the Telus compound close to the waterway of Pincher Creek.

Iris Reed video

 The cougar became spooked by a third party and jumped the fence, and headed for the creek bed. "We think it came up through the river hunting a deer," said Clarke, who explained the cougar appeared to be a healthy cat who may have been become confused with the lights and noise once inside the town and then took the first opportunity to leave. Fish and Wildlife worked with RCMP, BearSmart trained volunteers, and Karelian bear dog Koda to search the area for over 5 hours in an attempt to find the cougar.

There were no other reported sightings or evidence the cougar was in the area before or after the sighting. Fish and Wildlife and RCMP kept a watch for any possible activity for several days.

Clarke said if you spot a cougar back away calmly, get to safety, alert others in the immediate area, and report the sighting to RCMP by calling 911 or the Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.

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