Eva Riccius, Senior Manager of Parks for Saanich has provided us with the following information following a cougar sighting in our area.
As you probably know cougars are fairly regular visitors to Saanich. This sort of wildlife is looked after by the provincial Conservation Officer Service. I have clipped some information from the COS website on front-country cougar sightings for you to share with your members:
Remain calm, the cougar was likely just passing through the neighbourhood and will hopefully move on. Keep away from the cougar and tell others to do the same. Bring children and pets inside until the cougar has left.
Feed pets indoors, or if fed outdoors, bring in any uneaten food as the smell of pet food may attract cougars in addition to the pets (potential prey) themselves.Keep your pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range can become easy prey targets.Light walkways and remove any heavy vegetation or landscaping near the house.
Store garbage in cans with tight-fitting lids so odours do not attract small mammals. Avoid feeding wildlife or landscaping with shrubs and plants that deer prefer to eat.
Phone the COS Call Centre (1-877-952-7277) if you suspect that a cougar is hanging around in a residential neighbourhood or killing pets. If the cougar becomes threatening or aggressive towards people phone the Call Centre
Determine if the cougar has been attracted to the location or is in the locale as a result of poorly managed attractants (pets, backyard chickens, etc.) being present.
Cougars are not to be fed. It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to feed dangerous wildlife.