A cougar was spotted at Elk Lake in Saanich by a couple out for a hike Saturday afternoon.
At about 11:53 a.m., Richard Linden and his wife were returning to their vehicle after walking along the trail with their dog when they spotted the cougar.
Lintern said the cougar was casually walking along the pond across the road near the maintenance buildings.
There were several reports of a cougar sighting over the summer. The most recent was on September 28th, a family walking along the Elk Lake trail reported encountering a cougar several feet from their location.
Police were never able to locate a cougar themselves. However, residents in the area are asked to remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings while outdoors.
Video courtesy of Richard Linden:
Any additional sightings should be reported to the police.
If you meet 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 a cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.