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UPDATE: Cougar killed in downtown Sidney

A conservation officer killed a cougar on the Sidney waterfront early Friday morning (July 8).

The Sidney North Saanich RCMP were called for a cougar spotted near the McTavish Road interchange around 12:30 a.m.

“They found the cougar and followed it … to the Town of Sidney, right downtown,” said Cpl. Chris Swain of Sidney North Saanich RCMP.

While police awaited conservation officers, the wildcat made its way down Beacon Avenue to the Beacon pier.

“We surrounded it and contained it until conservation arrived,” Swain said.

BC Conservation officers determined that it was unsafe to attempt to tranquilize the animal and it was shot and killed.

Last week, RCMP and BC Conservation issued a warning to the public about confirmed sightings of an adult cougar in Horth Hill.

“It is unknown at this time if the cougar shot and killed is the same cougar that has been spotted in the Horth Hill Region of North Saanich, however the proximity of the two events can not be ignored,” Swain said.

Police are still asking the public to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions, to ensure they minimize the chance of interaction with a cougar. Closely supervise young children and pets, stay to well travelled routes, and avoid travelling alone.

Those who spot a cougar should stay calm and keep the cougar in view, according to Conservation literature. Pick up children immediately and back away slowly ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape. Make yourself as large as possible and keep the cougar in front of you at all times; never turn your back on a cougar.

Sudden movement may provoke an attack. If a cougar shows interest or follows you, respond aggressively.  Maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noise. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons. Crouch down as little as possible when bending down to pick up things off of the ground.

If a cougar attacks, fight back. Convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey. Use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes.

If you see a cougar near an urban area, or have a wildlife safety concern, call the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation, where the animal poses an immediate risk to human safety.

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