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No known events today.

Another cougar sighting in Saanich

Jan 09 2012

A large cougar was spotted in a Saanich man’s garden Sunday night.

A big cat weighing approximately 45 kg. (100 lb.) was spotted in a residential backyard in the 2700-block of Benson Place at about 7:50 p.m. Sunday night.

The complainant reported to police that when the cougar activated the motion lights on the house, the cougar sauntered away, said Saanich Const. Mike Duquette.

The cougar was not threatening. Because it didn’t run away at the sight of lights is merely a sign that like some other wildlife in the area, the animal has become somewhat “residential” and accustomed to city life , Duquette said.

There were several deer in the area at the time, which conservation officers have said, along with raccoons, are prey for cougars.

Last week, there were several cougar sightings in residential Saanich including: West Saanich Road in Brentwood, Central Saanich; on Quadra Street, near McKenzie Avenue, on Blenkinsop Road; Seamist Place, and Battleford Avenue.

At that time police requested the public to maintain a heightened awareness in those areas and to be cognizant of the potential dangers for small children and pets, for instance, which could appear as prey for cougars.

It is not known how many cougars are currently in the area, but Victoria-based conservation officer Peter Pauwels said last week they are active all year round.

“There are more than usual and they’ve moved into some of these populated areas, but it’s very difficult for us to do anything about it,” Pauwels said. “We can’t make them disappear. Our preferred option is to say, ‘Let’s see what happens and allow it to leave on its own’.”

Plentiful green spaces in the region allow cougars to sometimes “find their way quite far into civilization,” he said.

There have not been any reports in the last two weeks of aggressive behaviour related to the sightings in Saanich, Pauwels said.