Cougar sightings common in Saskatoon river valley, says conservationist
Meewasin Valley Authority says river an important corridor for wildlife moving through
Conservation officers weren't able to find cougars reportedly seen in Saskatoon this weekend, but the Meewasin Valley Authority says the felines regularly move through the South Saskatchewan River valley.
On Sunday, Saskatoon police warned the public to stay away from an area around the 2700 block of Spadina Crescent East after receiving a report of two cougars in the area.
A search of the area did not turn up any evidence of the beasts, but that doesn't mean that cougars aren't regularly in the area.
"We get reports of cougar sightings commonly," said Kenton Lysak, senior interpreter with the Meewasin Valley Authority. "We have to remember our river corridor is a living habitat that's home to a lot of these species."
Many animals use the river valley as a safe way to travel across the province. Lysak said cougars are often among them.
"If anyone uses the trails, they have to remember they are walking into wildlife habitat," he said.
Lysak said there are several things people should do if they encounter a cougar. He said running away is a bad idea. Instead, people should maintain eye contact with the large cat and back away slowly.
"The truth is, these are animals that want to mind their own business," he said. "They live in harmony with us, if we give them the space."
While cougars travel through the area, Lysak said they are often quick to leave the city, and are unlikely to look for food in residential areas.
"They're exploring their habitat area and they're looking for a place that they can call home," he said.
Anyone who encounters a cougar is asked to call police or local conservation officers.
With files from Saskatoon Morning