When a Okotoks homeowner unwittingly opened his garage door Saturday morning, a cougar ran out and escaped in to a nearby green space.
CALGARY - A homeowner in southern Alberta got a surprise Saturday morning when they opened their garage door and a cougar came darting out.
The big cat was spotted by a number of residents in Okotoks, a bedroom community just south of Calgary,
Friday evening and it somehow got locked in a garage overnight.
When the homeowner unwittingly opened the door Saturday morning, the feline ran out and escaped in to a nearby green space.
Neighbour Jonathan McCarroll said the cougar was described as being fairly big.
"They said it came out of the garage and guessed it to be about 150 pounds," he said.
"It ran across the road and down a few backyards into some green space by the houses on the opposite side of the lake."
Word of the sighting quickly spread around the close-knit, lakeside community and RCMP spent Saturday warning residents to keep an eye on kids and pets inside.
"The police were driving for probably an hour saying 'stay inside, there's a cougar,' " he said.
"It seemed like most people paid attention and went inside and word seemed to spread pretty quick.
"It's not overly concerning but in the back of your head you're thinking, 'we better put the dogs in.' "
Having lived there nearly a decade, McCarroll said he's never heard of a cougar being spotted in the area.
Cougar sightings are rare and if you do encounter one, Fish and Wildlife officials recommend staying calm, making sure people and pets are inside and leaving enough room for the animal to escape.
For more information, visit srd.alberta.ca