The Saanich Police Department has received three reports of cougar sightings in the last three days, with the latest Tuesday morning.
The first call came in at around 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, from a resident on Queenswood Drive. He witnessed a cougar on his property attack a deer before it was scared off by him and his family. After the cougar fled, the deer was able to get up and walk away.
Police attended the call but were not able to locate the cougar.
The second call came into police at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Monday. A man was walking around Rithets Bog off Chatterton Way and reported seeing what he first thought was a dog walking through the conservation area. However, based on the animal’s low profile and movement, the man know believes it was a cougar.
The animal was not aggressive and paid no attention to him as he passed.
The third call came in early Tuesday morning. Just before 2 a.m. a resident in the area of Hillcrest Avenue and King Alfred Court saw a cougar run into the bushes.
Police were not able to locate the cougar.
BC Conservation Officer Service has been notified of the sightings.
With spring break and warm weather, police are asking the public to be aware of these sightings and know what to do if they encounter a cougar.
If you are inside when you see a cougar, remain inside. Ensure the rest of your family – including children and pets – also come indoors. If you are outside, stay calm and make yourself as big as possible. If you have small children or pets with you, pick them up. Back away slowly from the animal while keeping watch.
If the animal is aggressive or attacks you, fight back while making as much noise as possible. Police note all aggressive encounters must be reported immediately.
Members of the public are asked to phone their local police department or conservation at 1-877-952-7277 to report a sighting or encounter with a cougar.
More information is available at wildsafebc.com.