Victoria police, the military police and conservation officers have scoured the area but found no sign of a cougar, despite several supposed sightings.
The calls started coming Thursday morning and by Friday night, three people reported sightings in the blocks surrounding Esquimalt’s West Bay.
Though unconfirmed, the sightings occurred in the 400 block of Peters St., the 900 block of Bewdley Ave., and the West Song Walkway by Barnard Park in Vic West. A man walking on the path heard a noise in a tree, and shone a flashlight but was unable to get a clear view.
Then, on Saturday, some employees of a business in the 900 block of Cloverdale Ave. reported another sighting. They said the animal was “larger than a German shepherd and definitely a cougar.”
Saanich police also noted that a nearby home is keeping chickens, which could have attracted the cougar to the area.
On Monday, three more sightings in North Saanch were added to the list, including two from Ardmore golf course and one from Lands End Road.
Cougars have been prominent in the news in the past month.
Last weekend, conservation officers killed three cougars in Squamish. In late August, a cougar attacked a toddler in a recreation area at Kennedy Lake on Vancouver Island.
If you spot a cougar, the B.C. Ministry of Environment suggests picking up children immediately, and backing away slowly while keeping the animal in view. Never turn your back and run. Respond aggressively if the cougar follows.