Local conservation officers say there was no evidence of a cougar in Wakamow Valley after a potential sighting.
Conservations officers were made aware of a potential cougar sighting in the west end of the park near 7th Ave. South/Eco-Zone area on Sept. 9.
While no evidence was found, Moose Jaw conservation officer Makayla Lupien said that doesn’t mean a cougar wasn’t in the area.
“Cougars are a natural part of our landscape in Saskatchewan and they, along with other wildlife, use river valleys as their natural travel corridors,” Lupien said.
Harley and Michelle Gallant were the ones who reported the potential sighting. They shared the following photos and a video that you can watch here with Discover Moose Jaw:
This isn’t the first time Moose Javians have had encounters with Cougars. In 2020, a cougar wandered into city limits and had to be euthanized.
Lupien said human encounters with cougars are fairly rare.
“These animals are usually pretty shy and wary of humans. However, residents do need to be aware of their existence in the area and practice caution and safety when they’re outdoors,” Lupien said.
“Some things you can do are be aware of your surroundings, make noise while you’re hiking to avoid any surprise encounters and make sure that your pets are on a leash.”
While it is safe to continue to use the west end of the park, safety precautions should still be taken when it comes to wildlife. If you do encounter a cougar or other predatory wildlife some safety tips include:
- Make yourself look big and make lots of noise and throw something to distract the animal.
- If the cougar attacks, fight back, use any weapons you can and don’t give up. Never play dead.
- Cougars may view children as prey targets because they are small and move quickly. If you encounter a cougar, pick up your child immediately.
If you encounter a cougar, you can call the Turn In Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) Line at 1-800-667-7561 or call 911. For any other concerns or questions about wildlife or cougars, you can contact the Ministry of Environment’s general inquiry line at 1-800-567-4224.
You can find more safety tips on the Government of Saskatchewan's website.
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