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Second cougar in Langford likely headed for the hills

There may be a second cougar prowling around Langford.

Despite one cougar being caught and killed Monday morning after it chased a woman on the Galloping Goose Trail, another may still be in the area, after four later sightings were reported.

According to B.C. conservation officer Peter Pauwels, the large cat was last seen near Langford Lake around 11 p.m. that night, heading northwest towards Humpback Reservoir.

"There was a second one out there," he said. "(The two cougars) were seen together and that would strongly suggest that they were likely siblings."

He said it is not unusual for siblings to travel together once they leave their mother. While cougars wouldn't normally venture so close to the heavily used Galloping Goose Trail, where these two animals were seen, they can turn up anywhere.

Pauwels was relieved no one had spotted the second cougar since last night. While he said they can't predict its movements, it may be headed back to the bush. "That is good, and hopefully it stays out that way."

There are three options for cougars that make their way into an urban centre like Langford: destroy it, relocate it or leave it alone and hope it moves back into a more uninhabited area, he said. The preference, Pauwels added, is to leave it alone unless the cat is becoming aggressive.

In the meantime, he examined the carcass of the cougar he was forced to destroy. While the young male was fairly lean, it was in good condition and appeared to be okay, he said.

Pauwels offered advice for people who cross paths with one of the big cats.

"If you see a cougar, stop moving, don't approach it. Watch it, observe what it is doing and if you can, slowly move away to a position of safety. Don't turn your back on it, don't run away."

alim@vicnews.com

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