Big cat behind Quebec horse attack could be rare cougar
WARNING: Graphic photos below
Wildlife officials are hoping bait will help confirm if an elusive eastern cougar is behind a horse attack in the Eastern Townships.
Officials haven't determined what type of animal was behind the attack, but there is speculation it could be the rare eastern cougar.
If you spot a cougar:
- Back up slowly.
- Take any young children into your arms.
- Try to look larger than you are by lifting your arms or grouping together with other people.
- Don't run away, play dead or turn your back on the animal.
Source: National Capital Commission
The animal once prowled Ontario and Quebec, but for decades has been thought to be extinct.
Biologists have now rubbed scent bait on a pole near the attack site to try to confirm the species.
Isabelle Thibeau, a biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife, said the possibility of finding an eastern cougar is exciting.
"They are not very abundant and we never know for sure. We have good sighting reports but a lot of time we lack proof," she said.
Wildlife officials confirm another horse was attacked by a big cat in the town of Asbestos last week.
Prints that resembled cougar paws were also found in the area.