The West Shore RCMP are notifying the public of a cougar sighting in Langford that follows a string of other sightings in the area this spring.
Mounties received a report of a cougar in the backyard of a residence near the 500-block of Treanor Avenue around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The cougar was briefly in the home’s backyard before jumping a fence, and West Shore RCMP say officers conducted patrols in the area but did not locate the cat.
“Police have notified BC Conservation Services, and we only received one reported sighting of the cougar, however, given the proximity to residences and a nearby school, we wish to inform the public of the sighting,” said West Shore RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Nancy Saggar in a release.
This latest cougar sighting follows several other sightings in recent weeks, including on April 23 when a Colwood family was shocked to find one pacing around a dead deer in their driveway on Matilda Drive, near Esquimalt Lagoon.
SEE APRIL STORY: ‘Frightening’: Colwood family finds cougar, dead deer in driveway
“It’s not usual for any wildlife…to be really visible in an urban setting like that,” said WildSafeBC Program Manager Lisa Lopez at the time. “But it makes sense based on the fact there was a carcass there, and the cat was checking it out.”
The family captured video of the ordeal and quickly posted it to a local Facebook group, which is what their neighbour did when spotting not one, but two cougars sitting in front of a shed that same day.
VanIsle Hunters says cougars are the largest cat species in B.C. with an estimated 4,000 living in the province, including up to 800 on the Island.
In late April, the BC Conservation Officer Service said it has relatively few daytime reports of cougars in the Westshore area year-round, though sighting advisories have been issued numerous times in the past.
“We will continue to monitor activity in this area, but residents in close proximity to large wilderness spaces should be vigilant at all times. Deer, Racoons and rabbits are natural prey species for cougars, their presence could attract cougars to an area,” read a statement to CHEK News.
The service lists cougar-encounter guidelines on its website, which include staying calm and keeping the animal in view, and picking up children immediately.