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Cougar spotted in Saanich back yard prompts police warning

Officers advise residents to use caution, secure properties and pets
Saanich Police Department says anyone who encounters the cougar and with any issues should call police. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich police are warning residents in the Strawberry Vale neighbourhood after a single cougar was spotted sauntering through a yard.

The cougar was reported mid-morning on April 13 in the 3900-block of South Valley Drive. It appeared to be alone and was not exhibiting any aggressive behaviour, Saanich police said in a news release.

Officers did not locate the animal, but did issue an advisory to residents to use caution, and to secure properties and pets.

In the event of a cougar encounter, WildSafeBC advises picking up any children, acting big and slowly backing away to give the cougar a clear escape route.

If the cougar follows, respond aggressively by making loud noises, maintaining eye contact and grabbing any nearby sticks and rocks to use as weapons. If a cougar attacks, fight back.

Conservation says it will continue to monitor cougar activity in the area and will respond as necessary to ensure public safety. Reports can be called in to 1-877-952-7277.

Saanich police say anyone who encounters the cougar and with any issues should call police.

READ ALSO: UVic reminds residents of cougar safety after campus sighting