Cougar found hunting in Banff townsite killed by Parks Canada staff
The animal was in poor health and was becoming less wary of humans, the agency said
Parks Canada says it was forced to euthanize a sick cougar that had wandered into the Banff townsite.
The agency said they responded to a report of a cougar near Muskrat and Wolf Street around 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 13 and tracked the animal to the backyard of a home.
"The cougar made no attempt to flee when it spotted Parks Canada staff," reads a statement from Parks Canada. "It was then tranquilized, and physically examined."
That exam showed the animal was "emaciated, dehydrated and in general poor health," according to Parks Canada, and had various injuries including a broken upper canine tooth.
"Based on tracking and remote camera data, wildlife officials are confident this it's the same cougar that approached a man and his dog on the Banff pedestrian bridge on January 10, and was spotted within the Town of Banff twice over the past two days," reads the statement.
It said staff reviewed all possible options, but determined the animal should be killed based on the facts the cougar was hunting within the town, had shown aggressive behaviour and appeared to be losing its fear of humans as its health deteriorated.
Parks Canada said a cougar warning remains in effect and reminds people in the area to be cautious and report any cougar sighting to Banff dispatch at 403-762-1470.