UVic warns of cougar sighting in Mystic Vale

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The University of Victoria is warning students and residents that a cougar was spotted on a trail near campus.

A notice on the school’s website says the cougar was spotted around 10 p.m. Thursday in Mystic Vail.

Mystic Vale is a wooded area on the southeast side of campus that features popular walking trails.

“This is the time of year when occasional cougar sightings are reported on the UVic campus,” the notice reads.

UVic is asking those around the school to be aware of their surroundings and use caution while using the trails or wooded areas.

“While cougars are generally shy and elusive animals and rarely attack humans, a hungry cougar may come into contact with people during its search for food, usually in the hours between dusk and dawn when cougars are most active,” the university says.

Anyone who spots a cougar on campus is asked to call campus security at 250-721-7599.

This is the second cougar spotting in Mystic Vail this month, and the second cougar sighting in the area this week.

On April 4, a cougar was spotted in Mystic Vail around 8:45 p.m.

Just last week, Saanich police warned residents of a cougar sighting in someone’s backyard.

Police say they received a report of a cougar sighting on April 13 in the backyard of someone’s home in the 3900-block of South Valley Drive.

READ MORE: Saanich police warn of cougar sighting in resident’s backyard

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 on it.

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.

With files from CHEK’s Adam Chan.

Mackenzie Read

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