Saanich Police have received three reported cougar sightings in the last three days.
The first call came in at around 10:00pm on Sunday, March 17, 2019 from a resident on Queenswood Drive. He had witnessed a cougar on his property attack a deer before being scared off by him and his family. A few minutes after the cougar fled, the deer got up and walked away. Police attended to this call but were not able to locate the cougar.
The second call was received at about 4:15pm on Monday, March 18th. A man walking around Rithets Bog off Chatterton Way reported seeing what he first thought was a dog walking through the conservation area, however he now believes it was a cougar based on its lower profile and movement. The animal was not aggressive and paid no attention to him as he passed.
And the third call to police was made early this morning, March 19th, just before 2:00am when a resident in the area of Hillcrest Avenue and King Alfred Court saw a cougar run into the bushes. As with the other sightings, the cougar was not located by police.
BC Conservation Officer Service have been notified regarding these sightings.
With spring break and warmer weather upon us, police want to ensure the community is aware of these sightings and know what to do if they see one. There is more information about cougars on the BC Government Staying Safe Around Wildlife and WildSafeBC sites, but here are some basics:
If you are inside when you see a cougar, stay inside. Ensure the rest of your family including children and pets also come indoors, and then call police and Conservation at 1-877-952-7277.
If you are outside, stay calm and make yourself as big as possible. Keep watch of the cougar as you back slowly away. If you have small children or pets with you, pick them up. And if the cougar shows interest in you or worse, attacks, fight back aggressively making loud noises. All aggressive interactions with cougars must immediately be reported to police and Conservation.