A Facebook post on Sidney Mom’s Buy/Sell/Swap is warning residents of a cougar spotted several times near McTavish School.
“Just thought I’d let everyone know that there is a cougar around Sidney/North Saanich. My inlaws’ neighbours saw it two days ago by McTavish School and called the police,” warned Paige Gibson.
“We are in Ardmore, and I heard it Thursday night while walking the dog around 11:30. It did the “screaming woman” call that Cougars make,” Gibson added.
A person responded to the post stating they also saw a cougar in their garden late Wednesday night.
“There was barking from a big dog at the back followed by what sounded like a big cat screeching. My husband grabbed a torch, and we heard rustling at the bottom of the yard, and a large animal moved quickly through the yard and over a fence,” the comment read.
We have reached out to the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP detachment to find out how many cougar sighting calls they have received in the area, and we will update this article when we hear back.
It was not clear if the feline was showing aggressive behaviour.
What to do if you encounter a cougar:
Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all cougars 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 cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.