Cougar sightings on the rise

Two cougars have been spotted in Central Saanich in less than a week

Two cougars have been roaming rural properties in the Central Saanich area and have killed livestock on two local farms.

The Central Saanich Police Service received reports last Friday, Sept. 20 of a cougar roaming properties on Bryn Road in Central Saanich. Later they discovered a lamb had been attacked and killed on a farm in the same area.

Conservation officers were called in and set up trail cameras and traps with the idea that the cougar would return to the lamb carcass.

Around 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 a cougar was captured in one of the traps and was euthanized after being deemed a risk to public safety.

The cougar was described as a young male, approximately two years old and weighing about 100 pounds.

On Sunday evening another sighting was reported in the 6500 block of Central Saanich Rd. (near the intersection of Styan Road) and another lamb was found dead on a property nearby.

Local schools were notified of the sightings and police are reminding residents that although interactions between cougars and humans are rare, to be aware of their surroundings.

According to the B.C. Ministry of Environment, cougars are most active at dusk and dawn but can hunt during any time of day. Also, during this time of year juvenile cougars become independent of their mothers and search for new territory. This is when cougars are most likely to conflict with humans.

Conservation officers were still searching the area for the animal as of Monday afternoon.