Local residents are being warned after multiple cougar sightings near the wooded area of Royal Roads and Esquimalt Lagoon were reported to West Shore RCMP on Wednesday.
In a release, police said they received four reports of a cougar sighting in the area on Wednesday and one additional sighting was filed on Thursday morning.
“We have received another call about a sighting today, April 25th,” said Cst. Nancy Saggar of the West Shore RCMP.
“We have advised our friends over at Conservation about this as well as the School District and Royal Roads University. We would like everyone to be aware of the sightings and keep your eyes open when out and about. If you see a cougar you can report it to Conservation.”
“There have been no reports of stalking or attacks,” she adds.
In July 2017, a cougar was discovered in the same area and began stalking a woman who was walking her dog.
The woman, Shannon Vye, told Victoria Buzz that the cougar “had no fear” and at one point officers had their weapons pointed at the animal, though no shots were fired.
If you spot a cougar, West Shore RCMP recommends that you report the sighting to RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-7277.
Victoria Buzz has received a video of the cougar from a local resident. Make sure to watch the whole thing because the large cat appears multiple times!
Check out the video below:
- Cougar stalks woman at Royal Roads University
- 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
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.