Alberta Parks officials have issued a cougar warning for Paddy's Flat Campground after reports of a cougar following a walker with dogs.

The warning was issued on Tuesday, December 19 and will remain in effect until further notice. Paddy's Flat is located in the Elbow River Provincial Recreation Area, 13.2 kilometres west of Bragg Creek.

In late November, there were reports of several cougar sightings in the Bragg Creek area. According to Bragg Creek Wild, a group that advocates for the protection of wildlife and wildlife habitats, the incidents occurred Southwest of Airdrie, in the Redwood Meadows area. The incidents were said to have occurred in the morning and evening.

Parks officials are reminding residents that although an advisory is in place for this area, cougars can be encountered anywhere in the Kananaskis Region and at any time. To avoid a surprise encounter with a cougar make plenty of noise and travel in groups. One should also be aware of one's surroundings and always look and listen for cougars and their signs. Pets should also be kept on a leash.

Cougars are the North American continent's largest wild cats, but they are weary of open areas and live mainly in wooded, rocky areas.

"Cougars can hunt at any time of day but tend to be most active during dusk, night, and dawn. When threatened, cougars will seek refuge in trees and will likely remain there until they sense the danger has passed. Cougars will only vocalize when mating, communicating with kittens or in instances where they feel threatened."

The cougar warning comes days after parks officials issued a closure of several trails due to a bear denning in another part of Kananaskis Country.

Please report all cougar sightings immediately to 403-591-7755.

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