On Saturday evening, Campus Security received two separate reports of a cougar sighting on or near campus. The first, from an employee, said a cougar was spotted in a field near the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence. The second, from a group of students returning to campus by bus, reported that a cougar was in the field near the Cousins Building.
Campus Security contacted both Lethbridge Police Service and Fish and Wildlife. Police responded and searched the area but were unable to locate the cougar.
Campus Security worked diligently to provide safe transportation for the students to return to their Residence building, and worked with Residence personnel to communicate to those staying in our Residence buildings.
While police weren’t able to confirm the presence of a cougar, we know we share our campus with wildlife, and we want you to be ready should you spot a cougar here.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife shared these dos and don’ts with the Lethbridge Police Service:
If you see a cougar in the distance:
- Do not run or turn your back.
- If the cougar appears to be unaware of your presence, gather children and pets in close, slowly and cautiously back away and leave the area.
- If a cougar is hissing and snarling or staring intently and tracking your movements, do not run, and do not play dead. Make yourself look big and speak loudly. If the cougar makes contact, fight back and don’t give up. Use all means at your disposal.
If you see a cougar close to you:
- Ensure that all people and pets are brought inside.
- Give the cougar enough space to leave.
- Notify your neighbours (and Lethbridge College Security if on campus at 403-320-3206), and Fish and Wildlife at 403-381-5266, or after hours, at 1-800-642-3800.