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Cougar spotted in Royal Bay believed to be same animal seen last week
Colwood couple Dave Brick and Sherry Kerr spotted the cougar in their backyard at roughly 10 p.m. Monday: (Dave Brick and Sherry Kerr)
VICTORIA -- A cougar has been spotted twice in just a few hours in the Royal Bay neighbourhood of Colwood.
Conservation officers tell CTV News Vancouver Island the large cat was first spotted on Saturday around 9 p.m. near Royal Bay Secondary School and then again on Sunday morning at 5:45 a.m.
West Shore RCMP said they received a call about a cougar in the area of Ryder Hesjedal Way, near Royal Bay High School.
Conservation officers were in the area looking for the animal, but said they believe the cougar has since left.
Conservation officer Peter Pauwels said it's possible the cougar is still in the forested area behind the high school.
"It could be in there or it could have moved on," Pauwels said. "There's not much we can do now until we get another sighting."
He said he recommends avoiding the forest for the time being, but added that the cougar is unlikely to attack someone using the high school track or athletic fields.
"It's concerning in that it was hunting right beside the school," Pauwels said. "That area is full of people walking their dogs, and there's children playing, people riding bikes, people using the track, so that's not a place where we're comfortable allowing it to stay."
Just last week, a couple in the Colwood area looked out their window to see a cougar sitting in their yard.
Dave Brick and Sherry Kerr say they were alerted to something in their yard when one of their motion-detecting lights turned on Monday night.
“I just looked out the window to see if it was some of the deer that had been around and didn’t see any,” said Brick. “Then I saw the cat staring at me.”
“His eyes and my eyes were locked on each other.”
Conservation officers say they believe the cougar spotted in Royal Bay is the same one Brick and Kerr saw. They say other cougar sightings were reported on Monday near the intersection of Latoria Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway, and near the Olympic View golf course.
If you see a cougar you should call the province’s Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line immediately at 1-877-952-7277. The conservation service advises backing away from the animal and says that you should never run away from a cougar. If you are with children, pick them up immediately.
The conservation service adds that cougars have reduced hunting hours during the summer, as they are primarily nocturnal hunters who prefer to roam at dusk and dawn.