2 more cougars die in Banff after female hunting in townsite was euthanized

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Two weeks after staff killed a cougar inside the Banff townsite, Parks Canada says two more cougars have died.

After several confirmed sightings of cougars in and around the town, as well as reports of kill sites, the agency says it decided to trap and collar one of the animals in order to track its movements.

While setting up a trap on Tunnel Mountain, staff came across the body of a young male cougar, under one year of age. The cause of death is not yet known.

"The same evening, shortly after dusk, Parks Canada captured an adult female cougar. The cougar was immobilized and fitted with a radio collar. The animal appeared to be in good condition, and Parks Canada personnel, including an on-staff wildlife veterinarian, monitored its vital signs throughout the procedure, which appeared strong," said Parks Canada in an emailed statement.

"Unfortunately, as the cougar was in the late stages of recovering from the anesthesia, it suddenly stopped breathing and, despite immediate rescue efforts by Parks Canada staff, the cougar died."

The agency says the cause of death was respiratory failure, but more tests are being conducted.

On Jan. 13, Parks Canada staff had to euthanize a malnourished female cougar that was found hunting in the townsite.

Parks Canada says cougars remain active in the area and there is a cougar closure on Tunnel Mountain and east of Tunnel Mountain to the Hoodoo Trailhead in order to give the animals space.

Anyone who sees a cougar is asked to report the sighting to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-1470.