Parks Canada officials are advising people in Banff to be on alert after a man told them he fought off an attacking cougar with his skateboard.
But Hunt said officials tracked him down to get more information in order to find the cougar.
“I think he was reluctant to contact us right away because he’d be in trouble for striking an animal inside a national park. But of course, in that situation you’re in defence mode and it’s totally appropriate,” Hunt explained Sunday.
Hunt said the man told them he was listening to music through earbuds while walking between the townsite and an industrial area when the cougar attacked.
“He was hit from behind, knocked to the ground and instantly reacted properly. With a cougar, the correct thing to do is fight back hard and convince that cougar that you’re not going to be available for prey,” Hunt said.
“He was carrying his skateboard, so he used that skateboard in defence of himself and was able to hit the cougar with it, which stunned the animal and he was able to get away.”
Remarkably, Hunt said the man wasn’t injured. He said the man was fit and young, and was fairly tall, which he said probably worked in his favour.
Hunt said officials are tracking the cougar and hope to capture it.
“Right now we’re kind of in a heightened state of alert,” he said.