The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is warning the public to take precautions after a recent string of cougar attacks on pets in the East Sooke and Metchosin areas.
In a Facebook post, the service said three confirmed cougar attacks on dogs have occurred over the past two weeks and at least one other attack is believed to have occurred, but has not been confirmed. All attacks took place during daytime and in the backyards of rural residences.
One dog was killed in the latest attack, which occurred on Wednesday afternoon in Metchosin. Two cougars were spotted in the area.
Dogs involved in the other attacks survived, and all were large breeds weighing more than 60 pounds.
In each incident, at least one cougar suddenly appeared out of nearby bushes and attacked the dogs, the post stated.
“While it is not unusual for cougars to consider roaming dogs as prey, the COS is particularly concerned due to the repeated behaviour during daytime hours,” it reads. “Residents are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, keep children close and watch any pets when outside.”
More information on cougar safety is available online at tinyurl.com/muv3c7zs.
Conservation officers are closely monitoring the situation and responding to reported incidents and sightings. Anyone in the East Sooke and Metchosin areas are encouraged to report cougar sightings immediately by calling the conservation officer RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
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