Fish and Wildlife officer Byron Jensen, says although it appears the most recent sighting of an animal purported to be a cougar may likely be simply a cat, he says residents need to remain alert when hiking in the Badlands. There have been credible sightings in the past, and a good likelihood cougars may be roaming in the area of the valley.
The most recent report of a cougar sighting was just last Saturday morning, when Kevin Vance of Drumheller captured a video of the suspect animal. His father visiting from Nova Scotia, looked out Vance’s kitchen window and spotted the feline-like animal pawing through the grass in the Elgin Hill / Bankview area.
Vance was able to catch about two minutes of the animal weaving through the tall grass and sagebrush on tape before it disappeared. He contacted the RCMP who reviewed his video, and also believed it to be a juvenile cougar.
On Monday morning Vance brought his video to the local Fish and Wildlife office, where Jensen reviewed what he captured, and immediately had some doubts as to the animal.
While it does appear much larger than a typical cat in the video, Jensen noticed the tip of the tail was white, while the tip of a cougar’s tail is black. Typically, cougars have round ears while in the video the ears of the animal have distinctive points.
Despite this, Jensen believes there are cougars in the area and recommends residents and visitors use caution when hiking, and if a suspect animal is sighted, be cautious and do not approach the animal. To ensure the safety of yourself and others contact Fish and Wildlife or the RCMP.
Click here to see a video of the sighting: