Bobcat mistaken for cougar, sparks evacuation of Willow Park golf course

Calgary police responded Thursday to reports of another cougar in the vicinity of Willow Park Golf and Country Club in the city's southeast. However, it turned out to be bobcat.

Incident comes 3 weeks after officers killed a cougar at same location due to safety concerns

A bobcat was mistaken for a cougar as reports came into Calgary police on Thursday of a big cat being spotted near the Willow Park Golf and Country Club. This is a file photo of a bobcat in California. (The Associated Press)

Police cleared a golf course in Calgary's southeast Thursday after a possible cougar sighting there for the second time in less than a month.

Officers responded to reports of another big cat roaming near the links at Willow Park Golf and Country Club late Thursday morning. The calls started coming in at about 10:30 a.m.

The Calgary Police Service said the course was being cleared as a precaution, and Alberta Fish and wildlife officers were called in.

However, it turned out to be a bobcat.

The two species are similar in appearance, but bobcats are rarely bigger than 30 pounds. Adult cougars average 135 pounds and can weigh up to 180 pounds. The large predator poses a significant danger to humans.

Last month, a similar incident resulted in wildlife officers shooting a young male cougar due to safety reasons, sparking criticism on social media.

On July 26, police cleared the same golf course after multiple sightings in the neighbourhood. 

That cougar was first spotted in the Bonaventure area around 9:25 a.m. It approached two police officers rapidly and got within about 20 feet of them.

Adult cougars are much bigger than bobcats, usually twice as long and weight at least 100 pounds more, in the range of 120 to 180 pounds. (Getty Images/Fuse)

The cat then followed another person to a nearby strip mall store, where it charged and struck the glass after the person went inside. Shortly after 11 a.m., the animal was spotted in a backyard in the neighbourhood, and Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers destroyed it.

The cougar was approximately 90 to 100 pounds.

Officers were searching the area surrounding the Willow Park golf course after a possible cougar sighting. (Justin Pennell/CBC)