An apparent cougar sighting in Rockyford has raised some flags as of late.
"Cougar sightings are low in number. The animals are illusive and they are generally not found in highly populated areas, but they can be confused with other animals sometimes," stated Brendan Cox, Public Affairs officer for Alberta Environmental Protection.
Cox added that it cougars are very wary of humans and if they know it's a populated area, the cougar will leave or hide.
"If there isn't that element of a risk to public safety then no response (from local authorities) may not be needed," he noted. "It's rare to see a cougar, it's even more rare for one to approach humans. They are typically shy and if they know humans are there they will leave the area."
So, what are some steps to take when you are near a cougar?
"As with all wildlife, you want to give them a lot of space. With a cougar if you see it in the distance and it doesn't' know you're there, you would be best to find a different route. If it is still in a distance and does see you, don't turn your back and don't run. If it's in your back yard, which is of course very rare, ensure that everyone is brought inside and give the cougar the space it needs to leave your yard on it's own. Also phone the nearest Fish and Wildlife office," explained Cox.
In the particular case of the sighting in Rockyford, there hasn't been any phone calls reported to the Fish and Wildlife offices.
If anyone spots a cougar they are encouraged to contact the nearest Fish and Wildlife office to them.
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