Cougars near Plunge & Peckerhead

Just an update, the cougars have been sighted in the Plunge and Peckerhead vicinities on the Forbidden Plateau trails. Keep your eyes open, watch your children and dogs, and stay safe.

As a refresher, I’ve added the following information to help you understand interactions with Cougars.

If you live in or near cougar habitat:

1. Keep pets indoors or in secure kennels at night, and never leave pet food or food scraps outside.
2. Bring farm animals into enclosed sheds or barns at night.
3. Closely supervise children playing outdoors, and make sure they are indoors by dusk, when cougars are more active.
4. Light walkways and remove heavy vegetation or landscaping near the house.
5. Store garbage in secure containers so odors do not attract small animals or other wildlife. Remember, predators follow prey.

While recreating in cougar habitat, you should:

1. Hike in small groups and make enough noise to avoid surprising a cougar.
2. Keep your camp clean and store food and garbage in double plastic bags.
3. Keep small children close to the group, preferably in plain sight just ahead of you.
4. Do not approach dead animals, especially deer or elk; they could have been cougar prey left for a later meal.

If you encounter a cougar:

1. Stop, stand tall and don’t run. Pick up small children. Don’t run. A cougar’s instinct is to chase.
2. Do not approach the animal, especially if it is near a kill or with kittens.
3. Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
4. If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
5. If the cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.

Additionally if you see cougars again, please contact the authorities with information on time and location, as they may need to be moved to a new location further from people.

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