A cougar sighting in residential Saanich is unusual, but not impossible, say B.C. Conservation officers.
Saanich Police Sgt. Julie Fast said police had a cougar sighting early Monday morning after a complaint came in of what the caller thought was a coyote laying on the ground on Sinclair Road.
“When our officer arrived, he saw what appeared to be two young cougars run into the bushes,” Fast said in an email. “We didn’t locate the animals once they ran off. Conservation was called and advised of this sighting.”
BC Conservation officer Richard Dekelver said urban sightings do happen, but they aren’t common.
“The urban ones are more often than not mis-sightings,” he said. “It’s often been a raccoon, a house cat or an otter.”
Still, Dekelver said it’s not unusual to have cougars moving around the Peninsula at any given time. The big cats don’t operate on a seasonal schedule, but spring and summer sightings might be more common with longer days and people spending more time outside.
While reported ‘cougar’ sightings are frequent, Dekelver said actually seeing the big felines in the city is pretty unlikely.
“We’ve had, over the years … about one each year that does make it into the urban sprawl,” he said. “There’s so much territory they have to cover to get there … someone else would have seen something.”