Banff man says he fought cougar off with skateboard

A warning about a cougar near Banff, Alberta has been moved up to a closure of an area on the northeast end of the townsite.

Closure follows second sighting of the animal

Man knocked to ground, fights off cougar with his board in Banff, Alta. 1:54

Parts of the Banff townsite, an hour's drive west of Calgary, are now closed following a second cougar sighting in the area this weekend.

The north side of the townsite is closed along both sides of the Canadian Pacific rail line between Norquay Road and the Compound Road. Parks Canada officials are out with tracking dogs to collect droppings and try to find the cougar. They say they have spoken with a man who says he fought off a cougar attack with his skateboard.

"They say they have confirmed that a man was knocked down by a cougar in that area Thursday but he swung his skateboard at the animal, causing it to back off," said Bill Hunt, a resource conservation specialist with Banff National Park.

The man told officials that he was walking while listening to music through his headphones when the cougar attacked.

Officials say the animal's behaviour is a major concern.

This is the second reported sighting of a cougar in the area.

Local residents told park officials that they saw a cougar attack a deer in the town park several days ago. 

Park staff say they might need to euthanize the animal if they find it but will try to determine why it attacked before doing so.

Until then, they are asking people to stay out of the area and be cautious.