Fight cougars and bears if they attack, province says

When being attacked by an animal, don't play dead — fight back.

Bears are coming out of hibernation and are looking to establish their turf

The cubs are cute but an angry mother is not. (Ian Murray)

With summer looming, predators are looking to establish new territory and feed their young — and sometimes that results in human interaction.

The Saskatchewan government is advising anyone who is attacked by a predatory animal to fight back. 

People are advised to properly store food and garbage. Leaving them out in the open attracts bears and other predators.

If anyone encounters a potentially dangerous animal, they are advised to call conservation officers at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 from your cellphone.

If you encounter a bear:

  • If you're attacked, fight back.
  • Stay calm, keep quiet and do not run.
  • Don't look directly at the bear. Slowly back away and take a wide detour.
  • Stay away from the cubs or mama bear will intervene.
  • Do not feed bears or they will lose their natural fear of humans.
  • Drop things in your possession to distract the bear as a last resort. 
  • Keep your pet on a leash. An unleashed animal may aggravate predators.

If you encounter a cougar:

  • Keep calm and do not run.
  • Make it known you're not prey: appear big as possible, shout loudly and throw stuff at it.
  • Back away to a safe distance and keep eye contact.
  • Never play dead with any situation involving a cougar.
  • After a cougar has left, keep an eye out until you get to safety.
  • If it attacks, fight back and use any weapon you can.