Fatal cougar attack in U.S. a stark reminder for Canmore family

 
 Cougars on a trail camera in the Bow Valley. Photo: Alberta Parks

Cougars on a trail camera in the Bow Valley. Photo: Alberta Parks

Laura and Ed Frost, whose daughter Francis was killed by a cougar in Banff National Park in 2001, say people in the Bow Valley still aren't taking appropriate precautions to avoid an encounter.

The Edmonton couple has retired in Canmore and did an interview with The Canadian Press in May after a person was killed by a cougar in Washington state.

"We need to take it a lot more seriously than a lot of people do," said Laura Frost, a professor emeritus in the biological sciences department at the University of Alberta. 

Frost said they're concerned that some people don't realize they're out in cougar country.

"They don't take appropriate precautions," she said. "They have their dogs off leash, they hike alone ... no bear spray."

"People need to be more aware of what's going on around them."

Wildlife experts say the best defence in cougar country is avoiding an encounter.

If you do, they suggest facing the cougar and backing away slowly, trying to look big and shouting, waving sticks or throwing rocks.

Check out our recreation page for more information on encountering wildlife.