If I were a cougar, I would really like your yard!
By leaving your pet outside and unmonitored, you risk attracting
predators such as cougars, wolves and coyotes into your yard. This endangers
everyone living in this neighbourhood. Nobody wants a cougar wandering
where their children may be playing. This notice has been forwarded to you
by one of your concerned neighbours.
Mountains are a special place to live, but with that comes a responsibility to
reduce the potential for conflicts with wild animals. Recent attacks have helped bring attention to the problem of wild animals being
attracted to urban areas.
Mountain communities like ours have spent a great deal of
time and money in a continuing effort to reduce the townsites attractiveness to
animals like bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes. This is still not enough, and we must all
take an active role in this struggle. Our goal must be to keep our
wild--not wandering through our community.
What can you do?
Keep your pets indoors. While you may have left your
pet in the backyard in the past, it's now time to start bringing it indoors.
Cougars can easily kill the largest dog and leaving your pet out may prompt
an attack. Also, be sure to keep your dog on a leash. Pets running free may
provoke a cougar or wolf, and then lead it to you.
Make sure you don't leave food or garbage outside. The
strong smell of food or garbage may attract a carnivore into your back yard.
Feed your pets indoors and keep your garbage securely stored.
Keep an eye on your children. Don't let your kids
play unattended in the back yard, especially when carnivores are known to be in
the area. You also want to keep your children away from dense bush which the
cougar may use for cover.
Make lots of noise. Just like bears, cougars
and wolves will
often retreat if given the opportunity. Walking in large groups, and making
noise will give these animals the chance to retreat and reduce the likelihood
of a sudden encounter.
Be cautious at dusk and dawn. Contrary to popular
belief, most predators are most active at dusk and dawn. This is a time to
be especially vigilant.