The B.C. Conservation Service is on alert after receiving several reports of a cougar prowling around Ecole Poirier Elementary School in Sooke.
The big cat was seen on Monday night running along a fence in a residential area around Arranwood Drive, west of the school, said conservation officer Rick Dekelver.
Dekelver added this may be the same animal seen hanging around a week ago as well, but lack of consistency in reports makes it hard to track its movements.
Both Cathy Hussey, Ecole Poirier principal and Journey Middle School principal Laurie Szadkowski, have sent notices home to parents and are following the direction of the local Conservation Officer who came by to each school on Tuesday morning.
“Students may still play outdoors and encouraged to make lots of noise and report sightings,” Szadkowski said.
Overall size and age of the cougar is unknown, though it can range anywhere from an adolescent to a mature cat. Distinguishing it isn’t easy, particularly from a distance, though they normally reach the size of a large dog by a year and a half or two years.
To report a sighting, please call the 24/7 number at 1-877-952-7277.