West Shore RCMP is warning the public after a cougar was sighted at Royal Roads University on July 6. (File image)

UPDATED: Cougar sightings continue near Royal Roads University

A woman walking her dog on Thursday called police after being confronted by the animal

A cougar near Royal Roads University in Colwood is attracting some attention.

The big cat was spotted again over the weekend after an initial sighting last Thursday drew an armed police presence to the area.

Pedro Márquez, RRU’s acting president, noted the university’s security staff received additional reports over the weekend of a cougar sighting on the far west side of the property (near the Metchosin Road area) but no conflicts were reported.

He added, an alert was sent to all students, staff and faculty about the additional sightings. Signage has also been placed around campus informing visitors they should be aware and to contact RRU security if they see a cougar on the property.

“As with all active cougar sighting reports on or near the property, Royal Roads students, staff, faculty and visitors are reminded to be aware and to use the buddy system when traveling on the trails and campus,” Márquez said.

Conservation officers have been investigating and RRU security continues to patrol the area.

West shore RCMP Const. Alex Berube said a woman walking her dog at about 8 p.m. Thursday called police to say she was being stalked by a cougar laying in the grass watching her and following her every move.

Officers who attended located the woman and moved her to safety and also saw the cougar, Berube said. The cougar eventually walked away and no one was injured, he added.

Several West Shore RCMP officers were seen running on the property Thursday with weapons drawn, advising people to avoid the property until further notice.

Katharine Harrold, vice-president of communications and advancement at RRU, said cougar sightings on and around the university are not uncommon.

“It’s good to always be mindful and aware that we share the land with wildlife,” she said.

The cat is still believed to be in the area and residents are being warned by conservation officers to avoid walking their dogs on the trails as the cat has exhibited some aggressive behaviour and may be attracted to other animals. If you do encounter a cougar, face the animal and try to scare it off by making loud noises.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

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