A sighting of a cougar at the Camosun College Lansdowne campus Friday indicates there is still a cougar in the neighbourhood bordering Uplands.
The animal was seen at about 1:10 a.m. by a member of Camosun security in the north parking lot of the campus, close to Foul Bay Road.
The cougar casually walked away into a treed area while it was being observed, according to Saanich Police. No further sightings were reported in the following hours.
The cougar may be new to the area or the same one responsible for multiple sightings in Oak Bay this summer. Either way, the area remains on cougar alert despite the Oct. 5 capture of a cougar in a residential portion of James Bay. It was speculated but not confirmed that the James Bay capture was the same animal seen in Uplands and Oak Bay.
“The animal in question appeared healthy and had no obvious injuries” said Sgt. Steve Eassie with Saanich Police, adding it’s important to note the animal did not show signs of aggression or predatory behaviour and was likely wandering in search of food.
“While observing these animals in urban areas is somewhat rare, such was the case in James Bay during daylight hours, it would not be uncommon for these animals to be present in large green spaces, especially in the evening hours.”
Cougar sightings are not uncommon in Saanich though they happen with more regularity north of Mount Douglas and Royal Oak.
With the alert, owners of small pets are reminded that cougars generally move around in the evening hours and officials suggest keeping animals inside throughout the evenings. Small children should be accompanied when walking in these areas.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has been notified of the sighting.