Banff Boaters Watch Cougar Kill

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I've always wanted to see a cougar. Just see it, dangit. Amblin' by is fine. A quick flash of tan hide and yellow eyes in the dark brush would be enough. But nothing so far, despite years logged in cougar country.

Meanwhile, five lucky Canucks in a boat on Banff's Lake Minnewanka watched a 6-foot, 200-lb. mountain lion bring down a big horn sheep a mere 10-20 feet from their boat. Jerks.

Shawn Geniole, Kayla Pronger, Tahni Phillips, Paige Baker and Chris Phillips watched the entire hunt unfold in front of them, experiencing a real-live Mutual of Omaha's Wild America moment in the process.

“We were about 10 to 20 feet from shore when one of the girls shouted ‘What’s that?’ ” said Geniole. “I thought maybe they saw an elk, but when we saw it was a cougar, everybody was freaking out. We were almost tipping the boat.”

The cougar was stalking two rams, and though it scared one away, the other eventually fell prey to the big cat's famously effective killing technique.

“It’s muscles tensed, and the cougar took him down,” said Geniole. “It dragged the cougar for a little ways, but he pinched the ram’s neck and suffocated it.”

“The cougar looks at us, covered in blood and is panting,” Geniole said. “It then went into a cliff and waited into the shade. We knew what an amazing thing we saw – protocol went out the window.”

“As he got on top of the sheep, he kept looking and staring at us and panting. It was pretty scary,” Phillips said.

According to park officials, seeing an attach like this is extremely rare. The big horn sheep's carcass was later removed and placed away from trails to avoid attracting other big predators to the area.

What's a guy gotta do to see a cougar? Dress up like a big-horn sheep and hang out by an alpine lake?!

Saaaaaaaaay that gives me an idea.....

Ted Alvarez

Boaters watch cougar attack (Bannf Crag & Canyon)