Heads up if you’re in the Colwood area today or the rest of the week.
There have been plenty of bear sighting reported on social media and now Royal Roads University has issued a warning saying both a bear and cougar were spotted on the their property.
On Tuesday, September 19th, Royal Roads posted on X (Twitter) stating a conservation officer has been called to the campus.
WILDLIFE ALERT: BEAR AND COUGAR ON CAMPUS
A bear and cougar have been spotted on campus. We have closed the gardens and a conservation officer has been called. Please use the buddy system (walk with someone else, not alone) and continue to keep dogs on leash. #Colwood
Tips on… pic.twitter.com/NHXvwltoC6
— Royal Roads (@RoyalRoads) September 19, 2023
For the time being, the Italian gardens, Japanese gardens and rose gardens near Hatley Castle have been closed and the university encouraging people to use the buddy system and to keep dogs on leash.
To reduce the risk of negative interactions with cougars, residents are advised to take some precautions:
- Keep Pets Indoors: If you live in an area where cougar sightings have occurred, it’s essential to keep your pets indoors, especially during dawn, dusk, and nighttime when cougars are most active.
- Secure Garbage and Food: Ensure that garbage cans and pet food are securely stored, as they can attract cougars and other wildlife.
- Supervise Children: Keep a close eye on children playing outdoors, particularly in areas near wooded or natural spaces.
- Hike in Groups: If you plan to hike or explore natural areas, go in groups and make noise to alert wildlife of your presence.
- Educate Yourself: Learn about cougar behavior and how to react in the event of a cougar encounter. Understanding their habits can help you stay safe.
As for bears, you will want to remain calm, and note the following:
- Do not try to climb a tree. Instead, back away slowly speaking in a quiet and monotone voice.
- Stay away from the bear and if it gets within seven metres use pepper spray or something else to distract it.
- Go indoors and watch the bear until it leaves.
If you spot a cougar in your area, call BC Conservation Officers at 1-877-952-7277.