On Nov. 23 in the late afternoon dog walkers hiking the four-kilometer Fairy Creek Trail in Fernie had their dog attacked by a cougar. The walkers escaped the attack with their dog. Unfortunately, the dog sustained severe injuries and later died. Frank DeBoon, Fernie’s conservation officer was contacted in regard to the incident.
“About 4:30 last night on the Fairy Creek trail, just 400 or 500 meters down the trail, the dog got away from the cougar but then died later because of it’s injuries,” DeBoon said.
“We also had a cyclist along the Swine Flu trail get chased by a cougar. [There] is a potential that it was the same cat,” DeBoon continued.
When asked about what to do when you see a cougar other than reporting it to the conservation officer right away DeBoon responded that people should make themselves as big as possible to intimidate the cougar into thinking they are not easy prey.
“If they see a cougar, try to act big and loud, so that they intimidate the cougar, [and] they do not look like easy prey. If they are in a group they can get together rather than being scattered and just raise your arms and make lots of noise and don’t run. Back away but maintain eye contact. We would like to have anybody that has a cougar incident or sees a cougar doing anything unusual, like stalking their dogs, to let us know right away. Especially with this fresh snow it’s a lot easier to track them down.”
The local conservation office can be contacted at (877) 952-7277.