Central Saanich police are warning residents to be watchful after two officers tracked a cougar into Brentwood Bay early this morning (Jan. 5).
The officers were on routine patrol on West Saanich Road just after midnight when they saw the cougar cross the road in front of their police cars.
“The officers followed the cougar into a small retail area on the east side of West Saanich Road near Clarke Road,” said Cpl. Pat Bryant of Central Saanich police. “The cat eluded the officers and was last seen [heading] northbound from the 7100 block of West Saanich Road in Brentwood Bay.”
The cougar was a juvenile cat that was not aggressive to officers.
Police notified B.C. Conservation of the sighting.
Saanich police are also advising residents to be vigilant after a series of cougar sightings in that municipality.
Just before midnight on Wednesday, Jan. 4, a cougar was spotted at Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue. It emerged from some bushes and travelled northbound on Quadra Street.
The second sighting, 45 minutes later, came from a driver who reported seeing a cougar walking southbound on Blenkinsop Avenue near McKenzie.
Police responded to both incidents, but the animal or animals could not be located.
There were two sightings reported Tuesdsay night and Wednesday morning – in the 800 block of Seamist Place in Cadboro Bay, and in the 100 block of Batteford Avenue near Tillicum Road.
In the latter incident, police officers attended the scene and saw the cougar. They were unable to contain the cat.
Sgt. Dean Jantzen of Saanich police said an adult cougar can have a territory spanning 160 kilometres, and will use trail systems like the Galloping Goose or Lochside to quickly get around the municipality.
Information on what to do in case of contact with a cougar can be found on the B.C. Ministry of Environment website: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/info/wildlife_human_interaction/docs/cougars.html
If you see a cougar or another animal, call a conservation officer at 1-877-952-7277 or 911 in an emergency.