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Mountain News: A cats-eat-dog world



BANFF, Alta.—It was a cats-eat-dog world on the edge of Banff, the town in the eponymously named Banff National Park. Dan Rafla, a human-wildlife conflict specialist for the park, told the Rocky Mountain Outlook that the two cougars had made quick work of the coyote carcass. He surmised that the cougars had been drawn to elk in the area.

As for the threat to people, he downplayed any risk. The behaviour is not alarming," he said, while pointing out that attacks on humans are rare.

In Colorado, cougars have been seen in a residential neighbourhood of Glenwood Springs, which is about an hour down-valley from both Aspen and Vail. One video widely circulated on social media showed four of the cougars, also called mountain lions, walking through a neighbourhood on the edge of the pinyon-and-juniper forest that surrounds the town. A state game warden told the Glenwood Post he believed it was a mother and her three maturing cubs.

Another mountain lion had been trapped and killed. Why wouldn't it instead be transplanted? Dan Cacho, the state game warden, said any place it would have been transplanted likely already has a mountain lion.

"If there is a healthy lion in that area, then we are just setting them up for failure," Cacho explained. "We have to euthanize them for human health and safety."

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