CANMORE, Alta. — Two popular hiking trails near Canmore, Alta., have been closed after separate attacks by a cougar on two small dogs that left one of the canines dead.
Alberta Environment and Parks says officers tracked down and killed the underweight male cougar, which was discovered feeding on the dog it killed following Wednesday’s attacks.
The department says a woman initially called to say she was walking her dog when she was confronted by the big cat that tried unsuccessfully to grab her pet, but she used bear spray to ward off the predator.
When officers arrived to investigate they discovered a second woman who told them a cougar had run off with her dog, which had been off its leash.
There is no word of injuries to either woman.
Officials have closed the Ha Ling Peak trail that overlooks Canmore, as well as the east end of Rundle trail, both on the south side of the town.
They also said that while the warning covers those areas, visitors need to be aware that cougars can be encountered anywhere in the Kananaskis region.
To prevent run-ins with cougars, they’re encouraging hikers to travel in groups, make lots of noise, watch for signs of the animals and keep pets on a leash at all times.