Reports circulating recently on social media of a potential cougar roaming around near Colwood Elementary school grounds are unconfirmed, a south Island conservation officer says.
The last sighting reported in the area was around Royal Roads University on May 6, Peter Pauwels said. “That’s the last I’ve heard, and that’s a sighting we don’t know whether that’s legitimate or not.”
He added, “a lot of times people mistake other animals for cougars. So just because we get a sighting doesn’t necessarily mean there’s actually one there.”
RCMP sent information home for parents on April 25 informing of a cougar in the area. “We haven’t been informed that the cougar is still there,” said Lindsay Vogan, Sooke School District 62 spokesperson. Unless the RCMP has informed the district, “we can’t comment,” she said. The District does not typically comment on rumours.
West Shore RCMP said the school was on alert on April 25 but “no cougar was located by police or conservation” that day.
The school has long been aware the forest behind the school is, at times, home to cougars. However, no recent sightings have been confirmed and outdoor activities have continued.
Pauwels noted the public can track recent sightings through the Wildlife Alert Reporting Program on the Wild Safe BC website.