Simon Renvoize was staring outside his window while sipping a freshly brewed cup of tea when he spotted a shadow in his next door neighbours’ backyard Thursday morning.
There wasn’t a doubt in his mind whether it was a large dog or perhaps a bear – he knew he had just seen a cougar.
“It wasn’t a little kitty cat,” said the View Royal resident who lives nearby Four Mile Pub. “It was just as big as you see them in the news and it was absolutely majestic. It’s like living in a zoo.”
Renvoize hasn’t spotted a cougar in the past four years he’s lived in View Royal. After grabbing footage from the safety of his balcony, he quickly called West Shore RCMP, who confirmed that they received several calls of a cougar near Stewart Avenue and Island Highway around 6 a.m. B.C. Conservation was also notified of the situation.
“People don’t usually realize how many cougars are around us, especially with a healthy population of them on the Island,” said Richard DeKelver, a conservation officer in the South Island zone in a previous comment to Black Press Media.
If you happen to spot a cougar, the conservation officer noted the best advice is to stand your ground, make eye contact and then back away slowly.
If you do see a cougar that poses a threat to public safety, you should call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) immediately.