cougar file photo

Police are on the lookout for what may be a cougar in Saanich’s Royal Oak neighbourhood.

Police said they received a report of a cougar Tuesday morning around 7 a.m., in the area of Thistlewood Drive and Donwood Drive.

A Saanich pound officer was brought in to find the feline but was unable to locate
the animal.

Police are advising area residents, parents of children attending school or other programs in the area and people working nearby to be aware of this reported sighting.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service was advised of the reported sighting.

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

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