The Village of Montrose is once again alerting its residents that a cougar has been spotted in their community.
The latest notice came Monday from a person who sighted the cougar at Viewmont Park.
The park is located at the east end of Montrose near 8th St. and 11th Ave.
The local Conservation Officer has been contacted and the village has posted signs at the park, the Post Office bulletin board and the village’s office.
In a press release, the village is reminding “residents to be vigilant and to accompany their children while playing at the park.”
In May there was another reported sighting of a cougar in the Montrose area around 7th St.
“It’s impossible to say if it was the same cougar,” explained Conservation Officer Blair Thin.
“There are numerous cougars in the area and they move through certain areas,” he said, adding cougars aren’t usually linked to one territory.
“Often juvenile or older cougars are easily displaced by others.”
Thin said there have been four cougar reports this year, which he said is “minimal.
“If we had four sightings in a week then we would consider action.”
Thin pointed to the food sources that attract cougars like deer, rodents and smaller animals.
“What is comes down to is that a cougar attack is a rarity. And if the cougar is a direct threat to the public, please call 9-1-1.”
While the Conservation Office wants to know about all sightings, call RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1.877-952.7277, the RCMP has more manpower in the area to immediately deal with a situation.
Thin said the Conservation Office focuses on priorities and right now he said he is dealing with over 25 bear sightings in the area as well.
That being said, Thin acknowledged that less bears have been destroyed this year.
“It is a better year for bears with respect to destroying.”
However, he said there are nuisance bears in the Trail area, specifically a sow and three cubs that have been roaming the East Trail region.
“They are being destructive.
“There’s nothing wrong with bears coming through your yard, they’re curious. But when they start associating a food source with outbuildings that becomes a problem. And this sow is teaching her offspring where to look for food.”
He said bears initially go for fruit but if they find another source in the area, such as garbage, that will also be their focus.
“It has to be a community effort,” he explained. “Ninety-nine per cent of the people might do the right thing but if the one person has the apple tree and doesn’t pick it, the bears will come.”