Carnivore Safety Tips

The following tips will help you live and play safely in carnivore country. We must all take an active role in  reducing the attractiveness of our neighbour-hood to cougars.

  • Keep your neighbourhood carnivore free. It many not be illegal to leave pets outside overnight, or to do other things which may attract wild animals to your back yard, but doing so endangers everyone in the community. A cougar or wolf attracted by a dog may end up injuring someone. If you have a neighbour that is not considering the safety of the carnivores and the community, try talking to them. If you don't feel comfortable, than why not leave them a note. Click here to view a cougar warning that you can print out to leave at your neighbour's house

  • Cougar - Click to learn moreKeep 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 cougars 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 carnivores 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 cautious.

  • 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 and wolves 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 carnivore, and then lead it to you. Coyotes commonly take smaller dogs and domestic cats.

  • Make sure you don't leave food or garbage outside. The strong smell of food or garbage may attract an animal into your back yard. Feed your pets indoors and keep your garbage securely stored. 

If you see a cougar

  • Remember, cougars and wolves are very different than bears. Cougars and wolves do not bluff charge. and playing dead is never recommended in a carnivore attack. 

  • Don't Run. Carnivores are a powerful predator. Running may trigger an attack.

  • Face the carnivore and retreat slowly. Keep direct eye contact with the animal while you slowly retreat towards safety. 

  • Look larger than life. Raise your arms above your head to make yourself look larger than normal. This may help to intimidate the carnivore. You may also want to throw rocks and yell at it. Aggression will often scare it off.

  • Pick up your small children. Carnivores will often select smaller prey, such as children or pets. Pick your children up to discourage the attack.

  • Report the sighting. If you see a cougar or wolf near the townsite, call the Banff wardens office at (403) 762-1470.

  • Learn more about cougars. Knowledge is power. Click here to learn more about cougarswolves, or coyotes.

All Material Ward Cameron 2005