Saanich Police are warning residents of Gordon Head of a possible cougar sighting that took place today.
Police say they received a report of a cougar sighting near Gordon Head Middle School at 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
After searching the area, officers were unable to locate any large predators. As a precaution, police issued the warning “for awareness of those in the area”.
We received a report of a possible cougar sighting at 6:15 this morning by the Gordon Head Middle School. Police attended but did not locate the cougar. For awareness of those in the area. pic.twitter.com/wWuLsTIw8i
— Saanich Police (@SaanichPolice) April 10, 2019
Last month, there were four cougar encounters in the South Island.
On March 29th, a 4-year-old boy near Lake Cowichan was attacked by a cougar in the afternoon.
Prior to that, there were three cougar sightings within three days. In one of the instances, a Saanich homeowner spotted the large cat killing a deer in their backyard.
- 4-year-old boy attacked by cougar near Lake Cowichan Friday afternoon
- There have been three cougar sightings in Saanich over the past three days
- Saanich homeowner scares off cougar from their backyard in Cadboro Bay
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:
- If cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.
- Arm yourself with a large stick, throw rocks, speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat, not prey.