A cougar spotted three times on Sunday may have left a densely populated Saanich neighbourhood and headed for the area around Victoria General Hospital.

Conservation officer Peter Pauwels is tracking the cougar’s path and thinks the animal is no longer in the area of Hampton Park.

“The last report of a cougar sighting I received was today around Knockan Hill just north of Victoria General Hospital," Pauwels said Monday. "Just looking at the map, I’m confident the animal is headed to a much more suitable area.”

The reports of sightings started Sunday morning just after midnight in the area around the Uptown shopping centre. Later that evening two more reports put the big cat near Hampton Park. 

The most alarming call came from a homeowner who found the cougar at his back fence just metres away from his dog, according to Saanich police.

“It’s heavily populated so to get calls from that area, it’s certainly surprising for us,” said Saanich police spokesperson Sgt. Julie Fast.

Saanich police are reminding residents to report cougar sightings immediately, keep pet food inside and do not leave pets outside in the yard overnight.