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Cougar warning issued for Banff National Park campground

Banff National Park officials issued a warning on Wednesday after it was reported a cougar was frequenting a campground in the park.

The alert covers all trails, facilities and campgrounds in the Tunnel Mountain area. Everyone is asked to practice “special caution” when visiting the area.

Wildlife management staff responded Wednesday morning to a young elk carcass that had been killed by a cougar in the Tunnel Mountain Village 2 campground, explained a Parks Canada spokesperson. The carcass was removed from the area.

“We also remind the public to continue practicing wildlife safety and do not leave children and pets unsupervised,” said Cassandra Smyth in an email to Global News. “Please carry bear spray, secure all food and wildlife attractants, keep pets on leash, respect all wildlife closures and report cougar sightings as soon as possible.”

Banff National Park officials issued a warning on Wednesday after it was reported a cougar was frequenting a campground in the park. Banff National Park

Officials say visitors should do the following to avoid a cougar encounter:

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  • Travel in groups and keep everyone together
  • Be especially cautious when travelling during dawn and dusk
  • Travel slowly and to not wear ear buds
  • Make noise to alert wildlife of your presence
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it
  • Keep pets close at all times
  • Leave the area if you see or smell a dead animal
  • Never approach wildlife
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Officials also shared the following tips if they encounter 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
  • Immediately report your sighting to Banff emergency dispatch at 403-762-1470.

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