March 3rd, 2024

One person taken to hospital after cougar attack in Banff National Park

By The Canadian Press on February 13, 2024.

A wilderness area in Banff National Park has been closed after an apparent cougar attack left one person with non-critical injuries. A cougar watches from an enclosure at Stump Hill Farm in Massillon, Ohio min an Aug.25, 2010 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Duncan

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. – A cougar attack in a wilderness area of Banff National Park has left one person with minor injuries.

Alberta Health Services says its EMS crews responded to the Rockbound Lake trailhead in Canada’s busiest national park around 11 a.m. on Monday for reports that a person had been attacked by a cougar.

It says the adult had minor soft tissue injuries and was transported in stable condition to the hospital in Canmore, just east of the park.

Parks Canada had posted a bulletin on Facebook late Monday about an area closure for Castle Mountain Lookout and Silverton Falls, including Rockbound Lake, which is about halfway between Banff and Lake Louise, Alta.

The bulletin didn’t explain why and Parks Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cougars are common in Banff National Park, but attacks on humans are rare.

There has been one documented cougar death in Alberta, which was also in Banff National Park, in January 2001.

Frances Frost had been cross-country skiing by herself mid-afternoon near Lake Minnewanka when she was attacked. Wildlife officials found the cougar over her body and shot it immediately.

Experts have said the best defence in cougar country is making sure you don’t encounter one.

If you do, they suggest facing the cougar and retreating slowly, trying to appear big and being aggressive by shouting, waving sticks or throwing rocks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2024.

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