An RCMP officer shot a cougar out of a tree in Rocky Mountain House early Friday because the animal was close to an elementary school.

Police were dispatched on a 911 call at about 4:20 a.m. after someone reported that cougar had been seen walking down Main Street in the town.

Officers quickly spotted the cougar in the downtown area. Police said the animal eventually climbed into a tree near École Rocky Elementary School.

Concerned about public safety, because the cougar was near an elementary school where children would be in the morning, RCMP consulted with a provincial Fish and Wildlife officer.

"The safety concerns presented by the cougar's presence in the town was an important factor in determining that shooting it was a viable course of action, and that this was the recommendation provided to the police by Alberta Fish and Wildlife," Rocky Mountain House RCMP said Friday in a news release.

"The cougar was put down with a single shot by police. No one was injured in this incident."

Rocky Mountain House is 215 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.