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Dogs alert owner to cougar in yard

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Maple Creek

A man’s close encounter with a cougar over the weekend has residents worried the animals aren’t afraid to come into town.

Billy Noble could hear his two dogs barking Saturday at about 8:30 p.m. When he went outside to get them to stop, he was startled to see what they were barking at.

“I looked over and there was a cougar on the fence right beside me,” he said.

Noble, who lives on the 200 block of Griffin Street, was close enough to get a good look at the animals face.

“As soon as I backed up away from the fence, it just jumped down and ran away,” he said.

The animal was quickly gone, running down the back alley. Noble then tried to get the word out on social media about what he saw.

He noted the cougar didn’t appear to be fully grown, but a young cat. He has spotted a cougar before while working in the Cypress Hills.

“It wasn’t big, but big enough,” Noble said of the one on his property.

He could see the large cat’s paw prints in the snow the next day.

In speaking with others in the neighbourhood, Noble said there have been a few who have seen the animal around.

This is one of a handful of sightings noted in town in the past three years. The first came in 2011 when a woman reported seeing one on Lonsdale Street that September. A number of other sightings around town were reported in the summer of 2013, including one spotted downtown on Jasper Street at dawn by a group of firefighters. However, many of those who claim to have seen the animal don’t report it, worried they will not be believed.

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