A cougar spotted around the Bebo Grove day use area at the Fish Creek Provincial Park sparked a warning from the Alberta Parks in Canada. The Fish Creek Provincial Park is in the southern portion of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Billed as the second largest urban park in Canada, it is nearly 12 miles from east to west with over five square miles. Fish Creek flows along the park before joining the Bow River near the eastern side of the park. Bebo Grove Day Use, in Fish Creek Provincial Park, is near Woodbine. The Alberta Parks issued the warning over the weekend.
Cougars are also known as mountain lions, puma, panthers, and catamounts. Cougars are native to North and South America. It is a wild terrestrial mammal. The second heaviest cat in the world, the cougar is secretive and solitary. While most are nocturnal, there have been sightings of them during the day.
Alberta is one of the western provinces of Canada. Located in British Columbia to the west, Saskatchewan to the east, and the Northwest Territories to the north. Edmonton is Alberta’s capital with Calgary as the largest cities in the province. The region was named after the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, Alberta and was established as an area in 1905. There are over four million people in Alberta.
The CBC gave tips for staying safe while out in the wildness. These tips include: keeping away from large animals; keep children close to adults; and make noise to alert cougars of the presence of people. They went on to add several tips if people did happen to encounter a cougar, including leaving room for the animal to escape; picking up small children; not to run or turn your back to the animal. They suggested to back away from the cougar slowly and making yourself as large as possible. The Bebo Grove Day Use was the only area affected, according to the advisory from the Alberta Parks.
The Calgary Sun wrote that the last sighting of a cougar in Calgary was in January. The large cat was seen on the patio of a home at Heritage Point, south of Alberta Parks’ Fish Creek Provincial Park. Many speculated that due to the tree coverage and the space to roam, the cougar came into the area to hunt for food. Officials encouraged residents of the area to report any more sightings to the Kananaskis County Emergency Services.
By Cheryl Werber