A cougar was spotted in a French Creek neighbourhood on March 3. (File photo)

Cougar spotted near home in French Creek

Gayle Hunter had an unexpected visitor on Sunday, March 3.

Hunter, who lives in French Creek, spotted a cougar in her Imperial Drive neighbourhood.

“It saw me with my little dog, who was out to go the bathroom,” said Hunter. “It headed toward me, so we popped up the deck and into the house. I saw it with binoculars, looking around.”

She immediately called wildlife authorities, and a conservation officer was on-scene within minutes.

Hunter said she has not seen the animal since, but was told it might return because it had spotted her small dog.

No warning report has been issued, but a Ministry of Forests official said anyone who spots a cougar that poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety should call a 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

From the B.C. government website, tips in the event you encounter a cougar:

Stay calm and keep the cougar in view, pick up children immediately. Children frighten easily and the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack. Back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escapeMake yourself look as large as possible and keep the cougar in front of you at all times. Never run or turn your back on a cougar, sudden movement may provoke an attack

If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively, maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noise. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons

If a cougar attacks, fight back, convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey, use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes. Use rocks, sticks, bear spray or personal belongings as weapons. You are trying to convince the cougar that you are a threat, and are not prey.

— NEWS Staff

Just Posted

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts visits Victoria for Comic Con

He says he’s looking forward to the event, but don’t ask him where the snake is

Dump truck driver hurt after highway crash in Ladysmith

One man airlifted to hospital after collision between dump truck and pickup truck Friday

Fewer residents of Greater Victoria receive EI benefits

The number of local EI recipients dropped by 5.5 per cent from January 2018 to January 2019

Search and rescue volunteers work to keep waterways safe

Over 1,000 volunteers help keep mariners safe; headquarters based in Sooke

Rickter Scale: Goodbye in the blink of an eye

Funny the impact a text can have — in more ways than one

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Most Read