Saanich Police are advising residents to be aware of a cougar that was spotted in Gordon Head on Thursday afternoon.

According to Sgt. Julie Fast, the wild cat was sighted on San Lorenzo Ave at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28th.

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As of the time of publication, police and conservation officers are attempting to locate the cougar with the help of a tracking dog. Their current location is unknown.

Police are advising residents in the area to bring children and pets indoors for the duration of the search.

Last week, a cougar was spotted about a block away from San Lorenzo Ave, in the area of Hillcrest Avenue and King Alfred Court.

If you see a cougar in your area, contact your local police detachment.

What to do if you encounter a cougar:

Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all cougars are unpredictable. Cougars feeding on a kill may be dangerous.

  • Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.
  • Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice.
  • Pick all children up off the ground immediately. Children frighten easily, and their rapid movements may provoke an attack.
  • Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.
  • Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.
  • Do all you can to enlarge your image. Don’t crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.

If a cougar behaves aggressively:

  • Arm yourself with a large stick, throw rocks, speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat, not prey.
  • If cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.

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