Yam area closures due to cougar

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A cougar feeding on a carcass in the Yamnuska area has forced a closure to keep people safe and to give the big cat some space and security to feed.

Alberta Environment and Parks said “multiple cougar sightings” in the area prompted the Oct. 30 advisory to be issued, while the closure was put in place when it was discovered the cougar was feeding on a carcass.

The closure applies to an area north of the quarry road and west of the Yamnuska trail from the Yamnuska trailhead to the quarry. There’s also an advisory warning for the Yamnuska trailhead and trail.

“Cougars can be encountered anywhere in Kananaskis Country at any time,” according to the notices.

In Alberta, cougar sightings have been confirmed across the entire province, although they are most common in the mountain and foothill regions. In recent years, sightings in the prairie, parkland and boreal regions have become more frequent.

The wild cats are generally shy and wary of humans, avoiding human activity and people whenever they can.

Cougars and cougar attacks remain rare in Alberta, with most problems involving juvenile cougars that are struggling to establish their own territories and find suitable prey.

To avoid surprise encounters with cougars, Alberta Parks recommends making noise to alert animals of your presence. Keep your dog on a leash or keep it at home. Avoid any area where you smell a dead animal as cougars often cover their kills.

It’s also recommended people carry bear spray, have it accessible and know how to use it.

Please report all cougar sightings immediately to 403-591-7755.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook