Cougar safety

Banff National Park

While cougars are a natural predator in the park, they can present a potential risk to people and pets. We live in cougar country and as such must take special precautions, especially residents living on the edge of town or near wooded areas.

Please Take the Following Precautions

  • Supervise children playing outdoors and don’t let children play near dense vegetation. Do not leave small children unattended. 
  • If you want to venture into the woods, we recommend you travel in groups of three or more and go during daylight hours only.
  • Remember, cougars are solitary animals and are most active at dusk and dawn. 
  • Free-roaming pets may attract and be attacked by cougars. Keep your dog on a leash and under physical control at all times. Walk your pets during the day and avoid wooded areas. Bring your pets inside at night. 
  • Don’t leave out any animal attractants such as pet food and garbage. Always use the wildlife-proof garbage bins. 
  • Talk to your children about what to do to if they encounter a cougar.

If You See a Cougar

  • Do not approach the animal. 
  • Face the cougar, and retreat slowly – do NOT run or play dead. 
  • Try to appear bigger by holding your arms or an object above your head. 
  • Immediately pick up small children. 
  • Be aggressive. Shout, wave a stick or throw rocks to deter an attack.

If you see a cougar or fresh signs of any carnivore activity, please leave the area immediately and call the Banff Park Dispatch at (403) 762-1470.

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