A dead deer was found in the backyard of an Esquimalt home. Police say it was killed by a cougar, but there has been no sighting yet. (Brian Braaten photo)

A dead deer was found in the backyard of an Esquimalt home. Police say it was killed by a cougar, but there has been no sighting yet. (Brian Braaten photo)

Dead deer in Esquimalt said to be killed by cougar

Police issued an alert late Friday afternoon when a dead deer was found in Esquimalt

A deer was found dead in the yard of a Esquimalt home late Friday afternoon, said to be killed by a cougar.

Victoria police confirmed there was evidence a cougar was responsible, but the cougar has not yet been seen.

Bowen Osoko, spokesperson for the Victoria Police Department, said although it isn’t certain, it’s better to take precautions in this situation.

“The reality is that it’s a wild animal in an urban environment. Because no one’s seen an actual cougar, we can’t confirm it,” he said. “It’s always better to err on the side of caution.”

And there is reason to suspect it could be a cougar rather than another large animal. According to Osoko, police had to shoot a cougar not far from this location only a few months ago.

“Usually they’re young male cougars that are looking to expand their territory,” he said. “Unfortunately, there is often a conflict between people living in those areas and wild animals.”

Police are urging people to keep their children and pets indoors until the cougar has been located.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com