B.C. Conservation reminds the public to keep their eyes peeled for wildlife after a cougar was hit in Sooke last Friday.
At around 8 p.m. on Dec. 11, officers received a call of a cougar hit by a vehicle near the intersection of Sooke and Phillips roads. Shortly after being hit, the cougar ran off towards Sooke River.
Conservation officer Peter Pauwels believes the incident was random and the driver wasn’t speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Although an officer attended the area the next morning on Dec. 12 and found no remaining signs of the cougar in the area, Pauwels said they received a call about a cougar spotted along Phillips Road near the SEAPARC recreation centre later that night. The cougar ran down towards Sooke River once again.
Pauwels said there is no way to confirm whether both events were the same cougar but pointed out that incidents involving cougars and vehicles happen several times a year across the Capital Regional District.
B.C. Conservation said roughly 10 to 20 cougars are hit by drivers in the CRD every year.
“It almost always happens at night,” said Pauwels. “It’s a good reminder to keep an eye out for wildlife because they’re not going to give you any warning. Slowing down will give you a better chance to react in time.”
Pauwels said if drivers find themselves in a similar situation after hitting a cougar or other wildlife, to stay in their vehicle and call B.C. Conservation. If the animal is lying on the side of the road, put on your car lights and wait until police or Conservation officers arrive.
Pauwels said 90 per cent of the time, a cougar could get hit and runoff, never to be seen again. He said they are “tough animals that can deal with a lot of punishment” and, more often than not, survived car crashes.
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