VICTORIA -- Police are warning Saanich residents to keep an eye on their pets after multiple cougar sightings were reported over the past 24 hours.

Police say that cougars were seen by several callers in the Rithet’s Bog area and near Hillside Shopping Centre on Monday night.

Three witnesses reported seeing a cougar in the 900-block of Owlwood Place, near Rithet’s Bog, say police.

Meanwhile, a cougar was spotted near the intersection of Shelbourne Street and North Dairy Road, near Hillside Shopping Centre, on Monday night.

Police say that officers went to both locations but were unable to find a cougar at either scene.

Saanich police say they have notified the BC Conservation Officer Service of the sightings.

Cougar and bear sightings have been on the rise on Vancouver Island this year.

Last month, multiple cougars were spotted within Saanich police jurisdiction, including one that had returned to the Cordova Bay area multiple times