Dozens of people gathered for a public information meeting in Canmore recently to discuss public safety after several high profile cougar attacks in the area.  

"Cougars are very good predators when they want to kill something they're very efficient," said Aliah Knopff, a wildlife biologist who tracks cougars in Alberta.


This season a cougar, like the one pictured here, killed a miniature horse in the Bow Valley. Two dogs were also attacked in the area. (Sue Pischke/The Herald Times/Associated Press)

She brought her research findings to the packed lecture theatre on Wednesday night in Canmore.

Knopff says Alberta cougar numbers have been both increasing and their range has been expanding, and it has become an increasing problem to figure out how people and cougars can coexist.

A cougar killed a miniature horse in the Bow Valley in December. That same week, cougars also attacked two dogs in the area.

Attacks on humans are rare, but have happened.

Glenn Naylor, an Alberta conservation officer, says anyone around the mountain areas should be prepared.

"Chances are you will never see one. If you do happen to encounter one don't run. Fight back, use your bear spray," he said. 

Dog owners are also advised to keep their pets on leash because even the toughest canines are no match for a cougar.