On September 30, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) received report a cougar approached a hiker from behind crouching low and exhibiting stalking behavior, on the Skywalk South Trail.
The hiker hazed the cougar by throwing stones, as it approached to approximately 20 feet. The cougar was not initially phased, but eventually backed off.
To protect public safety, part of the trail system above the Alpine neighborhood will be closed, including:
- No View
- Rainbow-Flank North
- 19 Mile Creek
- Rick’s Roast
- Cat Scratch Fever
- Green Monster
- Skywalk South
The closure will remain in place for one month.
All other trails are open, however people should proceed with caution. Consider carrying bear spray when using the alpine trails, as it is an effective defensive tool for wildlife encounters.
It is important to keep all pets on leash when using these trails and small children should be kept close by.
If you encounter a cougar you should:
1. Stay calm and keep the cougar in view.
2. Pick up children immediately—children frighten easily and the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack.
3. Back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape. Make yourself look as large as possible. Keep the cougar in front of you at all times.
4. Never run or turn your back on a cougar. Sudden movement may provoke an attack.
5. If you have bear spray this can be used in the event of a cougar attack.
Report sightings of cougars to the Conservation Officer Service at: 1-877-952-7277.