The residents of View Royal were put on notice this morning by West Shore RCMP after police received multiple calls surrounding cougar sightings in the area.
One particular resident, Simon Renvoize, got a front-row seat for what he is calling a “once-in-a-lifetime encounter.”
Renvoize said that he was just getting his day started and about to put on a cup of tea around 6:15 a.m. when he caught glimpse of the big feline.
“I saw a shadow walking up the fence line, near the low overgrowth in our neighbour’s yard,” recounted Renvoize.
The View Royal resident knew the cougar was headed, towards a dead end, and predicted the big cat would have to come back the way it came.
That’s when Renvoize got out the camera. Knowing he was in a safe position, one major thought was going through his head.
“All I was thinking was ‘keep your hands steady’ because there is nothing more annoying than having a perfect shot and getting shaky footage.”
When you go to make your morning cup of tea and this is what you are greeted with. Just an ever-so-casual cougar encounter!
Incredible footage captured in View Royal by Simon Renvoize pic.twitter.com/GTH2syRzBm
— Graham Cox (@vanislandgee) June 4, 2020
Once the cougar vacated the nearby property, Renvoize said it disappeared and didn’t return, leaving him to marvel.
“It was just such a majestic sight, truly something amazing,” he said. “It almost felt like living in a zoo.”
The two things that stood out to Renvoize were the cat’s size and its ability to move stealthily.
He referred to the cat’s size as being “halfway up a standard car door,” which can be seen as the cougar walks by a white hatchback in the video. As for the way the cat was moving, the View Royal resident suggested it moved “slowly and carefully” and that it could “easily be missed if you weren’t paying attention.”
Despite cougar sightings having been seen in other areas throughout Greater Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic, Renvoize recalled this being the first in View Royal that he has seen since moving into the neighbourhood four years ago.
According to West Shore RCMP, the cougar sightings were in the area of the intersection of Stewart Avenue and Island Highway. Authorities said that BC Conservation Services had been notified and, since earlier this morning, no further calls about a cougar had been received.
It marks the second large animal to be spotted in the View Royal area this week as residents reported a black bear roaming the area on both June 1 and June 3.