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No sign of cougar: Banff park officials reopen area where big cat attacked


BANFF, Alta. - Parks Canada says it has reopened an area north of the Banff townsite where a cougar attacked a man who fought the animal off with a skateboard.

Officials say wildlife specialists have searched extensively for the big cat involved in the attack on May 23, but have been unable to find it.

Nor have they found a carcass or anything else that would indicate the cougar's presence.

The man originally reported the attack anonymously, but officials tracked him down to get information about the cougar.

The man told them he was attacked while he was listening to music through earbuds and while walking between the townsite and an industrial area.

The cougar knocked him to the ground from behind, but the man was able to get away uninjured when he stunned the wildcat by hitting it with his skateboard.

A woman from nearby Canmore was killed by a cougar in 2001 while she was cross-country skiing near Lake Minnewanka, also in Banff National Park.

Cougars are normally very wary and selective of their prey. A resource conservation officer has said an animal might risk coming closer to people if it had experienced a difficult winter.