Warning signs have been posted advising visitors to Mission Ridge Park that a cougar has been seen in the area.
The signs went up Friday afternoon, after a Conservation Officer confirmed tracks in the park are likely those of a cougar coming into the area from the Woodhaven Regional Park, which is closed to the public in winter.
The Ministry of Environment’s Safety Guide to Cougars advises that while human conflicts with these large cats are extremely rare and an attack is highly unlikely, it pays to be prepared especially when in a natural setting.
- To avoid any problems with the large animals, people are advised to make noise while walking on trails and keep dogs on leashes.
- If they do see a cougar, they should make themselves as big as possible, keep the animal in front of you at all times and maintain eye contact while you back out of the area.
- Pick up children immediately - children frighten easily, the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack.
- If a cougar attacks, fight back.
- Convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey. Use anything you can as a weapon.
- Focus your attack on the cougar's face and eyes.
Cougar sightings may be reported to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.