Conservation officers have shot and killed a cougar that attacked a little girl in the Kananaskis area.
The girl was hiking with family near Barrier Lake, in Bow Valley Provincial Park, on Sunday when the attack happened. The girl's father drove the cougar away and she suffered only minor cuts and puncture wounds.
"It's attacked a human. It would do it again," said Glenn Naylor, a district conservation officer. "That age group tends to be responsible for a lot of the attacks on humans in North America and we just can't risk for that to happen again."
Last month another young cougar, which turned out to be a litter mate of this latest attacker, was destroyed after it attacked a dog with a group of hikers near Canmore.
Both cougars were less than two years old. Naylor says it's likely their mother didn't teach them how to survive in the wild.
"The mother ended her life prematurely or they got kicked out early and they didn't know what they were doing. They were very poorly educated and basically anything that moves was potential prey and unfortunately small children definitely attract cougars' attention."
Naylor says they had no choice but to destroy the cats because once they attack a human, they are are likely to do it again.