The Government of the Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) division have announced “a credible cougar sighting” that was reported to them yesterday, August, 18.

“The animal was seen crossing Highway 3 about 7 to 8km from the sand pits and golf course area,” reads the notice.

ENR Officers are patrolling the area as mentioned above and putting up signage to inform community members.

”Cougars are elusive animals, and there have been periodic sightings in southern parts of the NWT,” continues the notice. “This sighting is likely a transient cougar outside of its normal range, and may be moving through the area.”

To assist residents that may come across the animal, ENR included the following tips below:

– Stay calm, make yourself look big and keep the cougar in view

– NEVER run or turn your back on a cougar

– Make sure children and dogs stay calm. Keep them very close.

– Back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape

– If it shows interest or follows you respond aggressively — maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noise. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons.

– If a cougar attacks, fight back, convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey, use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray or personal belongings as weapons.

– When it’s safe, let ENR know right away at 873-7181

“Although cougar sightings are extremely rare in the NWT, it’s not unheard of. In 2020, one was seen by wildlife officers on the Ingraham Trail. In 2008, [two] were seen near Parker Park.”

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