A cougar has been killed after it was spotted twice in the Selkirk Waterfront area.
Victoria police say there were multiple reasons that the cougar was dispatched Tuesday (Nov. 21).
“Given the close proximity to a school and preschool during care hours, the amount of people and residences in the area and the amount of time it would take for conservation officers to arrive, the risk to public safety was determined to be high,” said a police news release. “We understand that people may feel strongly about this animal and its well-being, and we can assure you that this decision was not made lightly. This was a difficult decision for the officers involved. However, the safety and security of the community is our priority.”
The cougar was reported near the 300-block of Waterfront Crescent just before 5 a.m. Tuesday and then again before 4 p.m. in the same area.
Officers were posted outside the school to ensure students arrived safely.
“Cougars have occasionally wandered into urban areas in Victoria in the past.” said the BC Conservation Officer Service in a statement, after its members were called to assist in tracking the animal.
Victoria police also used loudspeakers on their cruisers to warn residents to take shelter.
“Officers kept an eye on the cougar’s location and used their patrol car P-A systems to notify pedestrians and cyclists, and assisted in escorting pedestrians out of the immediate area,” said a police statement.
– With files from the Canadian Press