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Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 21:37 GMT
Cougar kills skier in Canada
Western Canada
A cougar has killed a woman out skiing in a Canadian National Park.

The 30-year-old woman, who has not been named, was in Banff National Park in Alberta when then cougar stalked and killed her in the middle of the day.


I'd like to stress that this cougar was exhibiting highly unusual behaviour and that we may never know what caused this tragic attack

Ian Syme
Banff's Chief Park Warden
Park wardens shot the animal as it continued to ravage the body.

According to park officials, this kind of attack is rare but may be a result of changing wildlife habits in Canada's most famous skiing attraction.

"I'd like to stress that this cougar was exhibiting highly unusual behaviour and that we may never know what caused this tragic attack," said Ian Syme, Banff's Chief Park Warden.

There have been reports of further cougar sightings in the area.

A dog was left seriously injured in a backyard of a home in Banff after being attacked by a cougar.

"The wolves and the cougars are competing for that elk base that's their food," Mr Syme said.

Park officials have been warning people in the region that it is safer to ski in groups during daylight.

Residents and tourists are being urged to avoid secluded trails.

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