VICTORIA -- Mounties on Vancouver Island are warning residents after a cougar was spotted Thursday near Duncan.

Police say the cat was witnessed at approximately 9:30 p.m. near the 500-block of Cedar Avenue.

Patrol officers attended the area but couldn’t locate the elusive cat, despite an extensive search.

Police say the cougar did not threaten anyone, but they are nonetheless warning residents that the cat was seen in a populated area.

Officers are asking the public to be vigilant.

“Although cougars normally avoid a confrontation, they are unpredictable,” said RCMP Cpl. Chris Manseau. “If you encounter one, stay calm, and always give a cougar an avenue of escape.”

Conservation officers have been alerted to the sighting, according to the RCMP.

Earlier this week, a woman was airlifted to hospital with seriously injures after a cougar attack in the Fraser Valley.