(File photo)

Saanich police are advising the public to be cautious after a credible sighting of a cougar on Friday night.

Police were informed just before midnight that a cougar was seen in the 5000 block of Cordova Bay Road.

Officers were unable to locate the animal after searching the area, but say it was a credible sighting.

The BC Conservation Service was notified of the sighting.

Here’s what to do if you encounter a cougar:

  • Stay calm and back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape.
  • Make yourself appear as large as possible, and keep the animal in front of you at all times.
  • Do not run or turn your back on the cougar.
  • If the cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively, maintain eye contact, show your teeth, and make loud noise. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons.
  • If the cougar attacks, fight back, and convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey. Use anything you can as a weapon, focusing your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes.

See also: