Students, staff and visitors are being warned to be cautious after a cougar was reportedly sighted at the University of Victoria on Wednesday.
UVic says the big cat was reported in the Mystic Vale wooded area around 9 a.m.
Oak Bay police attended, but were unable to locate the cougar.
“This is the time of year when occasional cougar sightings are reported on the UVic campus,” said the university in a bulletin.
“While cougars are generally shy and elusive animals and rarely attack humans, a hungry cougar may come into contact with people during its search for food, usually in the hours between dusk and dawn.”
The university said most cougars will run away when they see a human, but that anyone who sees one should use the following precautions:
- Never run or turn your back on a cougar.
- Always watch the cougar and know where it is.
- Give the cougar room to escape.
- Pick up nearby children and small household pets.
- Raise your arms to look bigger.
- Act aggressively, and if possible throw rocks or sticks at the cougar.
Anyone who sees a cougar on campus is asked to call campus security at 250-721-7599.