A woman who lives near La Broquerie says she saw a cougar on her property this week.

Els Fenton, who lives off Loewen Boulevard says she was awoken early Monday morning to what sounded like either a child shrieking in pain or a dying goat. Fenton says it was about 1 am and after hearing the noise she walked over to her kitchen window which overlooks her backyard. And that is when she saw the cougar.

"I heard it howling, it was near my fire pit," recalls Fenton. 

Fenton says after whistling at the animal and telling it to be quiet, it quickly ran off. She saw it for only a few seconds. According to Fenton, the cougar was a little smaller than a Golden Retriever and stood about 10 feet from her house. 

Fenton says she comes from a hunting family and loves wildlife. And, because this was not the first time she had ever heard a cougar, she knew immediately what it was. Since Monday, Fenton has learned that other people living in the area have also been spotting cougars recently. 

"There are cougars around," she says. "My concern is for the children in our area because there's a lot of young families."

Not only that, but Fenton says she is also concerned for all of the pet dogs that are chained in people's backyards. 

"That's the most disconcerting sound," notes Fenton. "The wildlife I can handle, but when you hear the dogs yelping you don't know if they are getting attacked or not."

For that reason, Fenton says she brings her dog in at night during this time of year; not wanting it to be the target of either cougars or coyotes. She encourages dog owners to make sure their pet has a place to seek shelter when in danger. 

Fenton says living in the country allows her to see wildlife, which she says is plentiful around her property. In addition to the cougar, she says it is not unusual to hear coyotes howling. She has also seen a brown bear and says a neighbour recently spotted a wolf nearby.

"That's the joy of living out in the country, you enjoy the wildlife," she says. 

But again, Fenton stresses the importance of families being mindful of what is out there and not letting children play in the bush after dark. 

Meanwhile, later in the day on Monday, Fenton went into her backyard to see if there was any dead wildlife that may have fallen victim to the cougar. Fenton says there was no sign. She plans to report the sighting to Manitoba Conservation.