One Saanich resident got an up close and personal with an apex predator this weekend after they spotted a cougar trying to hunt a deer in their own backyard in Cadboro Bay.
Just before 10 p.m. on Sunday night, Saanich Police received a call from a homeowner in the 2600 block of Queenswood stating they were keeping an eye on a cougar that was attempting to kill a deer on their property.
By the time officers arrived, the resident had already scared the cougar away and sent it slinking away towards a nearby beach.
“It had just attacked a deer when the homeowner scared it off,” said Sgt. Julie Fast of Saanich Police. “The cougar ran down towards the ocean and left the deer laying on the ground.”
Officers then searched the coastline but were unable to locate the animal.
Conservations officers were also contacted and aware of the situation but say the feline poses a low risk to the public and has likely moved on.
If a cougar is reported near your property, Saanich Police recommends calling the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 and your local police department. If you are inside when you spot a cougar, stay inside, and ensure your family and pets are also inside.
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.