The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) is now warning the public to be wary, following a string of pet attacks by cougars southwest of Victoria.
In the last two weeks, there have been three confirmed cougar attacks on dogs in the East Sooke and Metchosin areas, according to the COS.
It says all of the incidents involved larger breed dogs and took place during the daytime, in the backyards of rural residences.
“One dog was killed in the latest incident yesterday (Thursday) afternoon in Metchosin, where two cougars were spotted,” the COS said.
“The other dogs have survived. Conservation officers believe there may also be at least one additional cougar incident.”
Last week, a Victoria woman told Victoria Buzz she was still reeling from trauma after her small dog was attacked by a cougar and left seriously injured, cutting his vision in half.
While it’s not unusual for cougars to consider roaming dogs as prey, the COS is “particularly concerned” due to the repeated behaviour during daytime hours.
Officials now encourage local residents to be aware of their surroundings, keeping children close and watching any pets when outside.
“Conservation Officers are closely monitoring the situation and responding to incidents and sightings,” the COS added.
For more cougar safety tips, the COS points to this website.
It’s also asking anyone in the East Sooke and Metchosin areas to report cougar sightings immediately to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1 (877) 952-7277.