A conservation officer says a cougar spotted Sunday night in Saanich’s Cadboro Bay neighbourhood poses a low risk and has likely moved on.
Conservation officer Peter Pauwels said his office has not received any further sightings of the animal, whose whereabouts appear unknown.
“We have no plans to go look for it, as by now it could be miles away,” he said. “If we get more sightings, we will evaluate them and determine the best course of action based on the circumstances. At this time we consider the risk to the public as low, due to the behaviour of the cougar in pursuing natural sources of prey at night. The cougar has not displayed any behaviour that indicates aggression or predatory tendencies toward people and was easily scared off by the homeowners.”
Sgt. Julie Fast of the Saanich Police said a home-owner on Queenswood Drive spotted the cougar around 10 p.m. after it had attacked a deer.
“The cougar was scared off by the homeowner and ran down onto the beach,” she said. “The deer stayed on the ground for several minutes before running off. “
Police attended the scene but did not see the cougar. They did, however, see a deer that was moving cautiously on the property.
Pauwels said he does not expect that the cougar will make future appearances.
“Although the area holds lots of deer, we believe there is too much human activity for the cougar to be comfortable long term,” he said. “We expect the cougar will continue moving in search of more suitable habitat.”
Pauwels encourages residents to report sightings (1-877-952-7277), so that conservation officers can track the movement of the cougar.