One person taken to hospital after cougar attack in Banff National Park

 LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — A cougar attack in a popular wilderness area of Banff National Park has left one person with minor injuries. EMS crews responded to the Rockbound Lake trailhead around 11 a.m. on Monday for reports that a person had been attacked by a cougar, said Alberta Health Services.  “On arrival, EMS assumed [[{“value”:”

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — A cougar attack in a popular wilderness area of Banff National Park has left one person with minor injuries.

EMS crews responded to the Rockbound Lake trailhead around 11 a.m. on Monday for reports that a person had been attacked by a cougar, said Alberta Health Services. 

“On arrival, EMS assumed care of one adult patient who had been in care of Parks Canada officials,” public education officer Stuart Brideaux said Tuesday in an emailed statement.

“The patient had sustained fortunately minor soft tissue injuries in the incident. They were transported in stable and non-life-threatening condition to the Canmore Hospital.”

Parks Canada had posted a bulletin on Facebook late Monday about an area closure for Castle Mountain Lookout and Silverton Falls, including Rockbound Lake, about halfway between Banff and Lake Louise, Alta.

“Parks Canada is asking park visitors to please avoid these areas, and respect closures in place to ensure the safety of the public and Parks Canada team members working in the area,” said the post.

The bulletin didn’t explain why it was closed and Parks Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Cougars are a natural predator in Banff National Park, but attacks on humans are rare.

There has been one documented fatal cougar attack in Alberta, also in Banff National Park.

Frances Frost, 30, had been cross-country skiing by herself mid-afternoon near Lake Minnewanka in January 2001 when she was attacked. Wildlife officials found the cougar over her body and shot it immediately.

Experts have said the best defence in cougar country is making sure you don’t encounter one.

If you do, they suggest facing the cougar and retreating slowly, trying to appear big and being aggressive by shouting, waving sticks or throwing rocks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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