Cougar killed after struck by vehicle in Saanich

A vehicle struck and severely injured a cougar on the Pat Bay Highway Wednesday night, Saanich police say.

The cougar was hit at around 7 p.m. in the 4900 block of the Pat Bay Highway near Haliburton Road, and was found in the grass median of the highway.

The driver of the vehicle wasn't injured but the car suffered some damage.

Police say the animal was gravely injured and was put down by the officers. A cougar was seen last Saturday about a kilometre away at the Cordova Bay golf course.

Saanich police Sgt. Todd Bryant said its rare for a cougar to be hit on a roadway, and is the second in recent history that's he's aware of. "Normally it's deer. That's a daily occurrence," he said. "The driver first called it in as hitting a deer. (The cougar) went by in a blur."

Conservation officers identified the cougar as a young female, about 18 months old. It was likely trying to stake out a hunting territory in and around Elk-Beaver Lake and Cordova Bay. Bryant said it looked well fed and healthy.

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