Ponoka cougar warnings unfounded
Reports of a Ponoka cougar are greatly exaggerated apparently.
A sign recently appeared on the town’s downtown trails warning walkers: “Take Caution Cougar Sighting on Trail.”
“There’s no truth to it whatsoever,” said district Fish and Wildlife officer Glenn Chantal on Monday.
“(The sign) was put up without any confirmation or any verification. Somebody took it upon themselves just to put it up.”
The likelihood of a cougar roaming the area is beyond remote, said Chantal, who has been in Ponoka for 27 years. The only verified cougar sighting in that time was about eight km east of town.
“There’s never been one here at all.”
He took a call a few years ago from walkers convinced a cougar was sunning itself on a hay bale near town. It turned out to be a coyote.
It is unclear who posted the sign, which is in an official-looking typeface and bears the Town of Ponoka logo. The town did not sanction the notice.
“It has not been determined exactly who put it up yet,” he said, adding it is being looked into.
It is Fish and Wildlife’s responsibility to post warnings in the event of potentially dangerous wildlife sightings.