Saanich police warn of cougar sighting in resident’s backyard

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File photo.

Saanich police are notifying residents that a cougar was spotted in someone’s backyard on Saturday morning.

Police say they received a report of a cougar sighting around 10 a.m. in the backyard of someone’s home in the 3900-block of South Valley Drive.

Police say they “attended swiftly” but weren’t able to locate the animal in the area.

The caller told police that the cougar appeared to be alone and was “not exhibiting any aggressive behaviour.”

People who live in the area are encouraged to be cautious, and make sure pets are on leash and that properties are secured.

Anyone who sees a cougar or needs immediate assistance is asked to call Saanich police.

Last week, the University of Victoria also warned of a cougar sighting in Mystic Vale, a wooded area on campus that has popular walking trails.

Cougar safety tips

If you encounter a cougar, you should remain calm and never run away from the animal, according to WildSafeBC.

Try to make yourself look as big as possible and slowly back away, but always keep the cat in sight and do not turn your back onit.

Children and small animals should be picked up to prevent them from running.

If a cougar seems aggressive, WildsafeBC recommends yelling at it, maintaining eye contact, and using anything on hand as a weapon, like nearby sticks or rocks.

Adam Chan

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