Police were forced to shoot and kill a cougar in Esquimalt after conservation determined the animal could not be relocated. (VicPD / Twitter)

A cougar spotted near Esquimalt Plaza and Bullen park in Esquimalt on Sunday night was later shot and killed by police.

VicPD were called to the 600-block of Fernhill Road around 7:30 p.m after the cougar was spotted by a mom out for a walk with her two young kids.

The caller indicated they saw the cougar tracking a couple of deer.

VicPD spoke with conservation officers who determined relocation was not an option for this animal.

“The animal was dispatched by our officers with a single shot when safe to do so in order to protect those in the surrounding area: a sad, but necessary duty,” police said in a statement.

The cougar is believed to be about a 1 1/2 to 2 years old and weighing about 100 pounds.

If you encounter a cougar:

  • Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all wildlife are unpredictable. Cougars feeding on a kill may be dangerous.
  • Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.
  • Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice.
  • Pick all children up off the ground immediately. Children frighten easily and their rapid movements may provoke an attack.
  • Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.
  • Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.
  • Do all you can to enlarge your image. Don’t crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.
  • If a cougar behaves aggressively… Arm yourself with a large stick, throw rocks, speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat not prey.
  • If a cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, and bare fists.

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