Conservation officers are currently in the Battlefords after the reported sighting of a cougar this morning.
The Conservation Officers Service first heard the report on the radio when CJNB host, Grant Schutte, said he saw one crossing the bridge between Battleford and North Battleford on his way to work.
Inspector, Glen Kurjata, said officers haven’t confirmed the presence of a cougar in the area and though they are rare around the Battlefords, they aren’t unheard of. He added seeing a cougar along the North Saskatchewan River made sense though as they use the cover to travel the province and track prey.
Even though the spotting was close to the city and walking paths, Kurjata said there isn’t much cause for concern to the public.
“We send out messages to the public, so if there is one sighted in the area people know about it and there are things people should know if they do see one. First thing is don’t run because that is what prey would do and the most important thing is to make sure the cougar knows you’re not prey.”
Kurjata added anyone who sees a cougar should make themselves look big and make sure the animal is aware of their presence by yelling loudly at it. The inspector said the person should keep eye contact with the cougar until it is out of sight and slowly walk away, never turning their back to the animal.
Kurjata said cougars are normally aware and shy of people and tend to stick to covered areas. He added most sightings on roads are simply it moving from one covered area to another.
The inspector added if they confirm there is a cougar in the area, officers will likely monitor it as it travels out of the area. He said there is very little threat of the animal going into residential areas, but if it did and posed any immediate threat to the public, officers would take action by tranquillizing the animal and moving it to a more remote and safe area.
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