Officials are warning the public after a cougar was reportedly spotted in Saanich Saturday night, and Gordon Head Sunday morning.
Saanich police were called around 10 p.m. to the roadway on West Saanich Road near Old West Saanich Road, after a resident saw a mountain lion.
Patrol officers were unable to locate the animal, the witness told police that no persons or other animals interacted with the cougar.
Conservation officers say that Gordon Head residents reported another cougar sighting around 6 a.m. Sunday morning, near King Alfred Court and the Ten Mile Point area.
“The cougar was seen by several people,” said conservation officer Peter Pauwels. “It’s staying in close proximity to the shoreline, if it keeps heading to Victoria it may become a situation we will have to deal with to try to get it out of there.”
Pauwels says he hopes it does not come to that, as trying to track and tranquilize the animal may result in officers having to put the cougar down.
Officers believe the mountain lion will most likely lay low in some acreages in the area until the nighttime, before retreating to a more heavily wooded area like Mount Douglas Park.
“Whether that [the West Saanich cougar] is the same one that made it over to Gordon Head or not I don’t know, could be… at night they are moving a lot so it wouldn’t be that far for it to go,” added Pauwels.
Officials are reminding residents that the change to warmer weather may mean an increase in wildlife sightings in residential areas.
To report a sighting or any concerns with human-wildlife interactions, you can call the B.C. Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.