Cougar spotted crossing Hwy 3 outside Yellowknife

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A cougar, like the animal pictured here, has been spotted near Yellowknife. (Delaney Frame/Alberta Environment and Parks - image credit)
A cougar, like the animal pictured here, has been spotted near Yellowknife. (Delaney Frame/Alberta Environment and Parks - image credit)

Wildlife officers are patrolling near Yellowknife after someone reported seeing a cougar.

The animal was spotted Thursday crossing Highway 3, about seven or eight kilometres away from the sand pits, according to Mike Westwick, communications manager for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The department considers the report to be credible.

Cougar sightings aren't unheard of in the N.W.T., but Westwick said in an email they are extremely rare.

"This sighting is likely a transient cougar outside of its normal range, and may be moving through the area," he wrote.

If you come across a cougar, the department recommends you try to make yourself look big and keep the animal in view. Don't try to run or turn your back on it. Keep kids and pets close, and back away slowly, making sure the cougar has a clear way to escape.

The department also recommends you act aggressively if the cougar follows you, making loud noises and baring your teeth.

Any sightings of the cougar can be reported to the department at 867-873-7181.