Local schools are warning parents to take precautions following cougar sightings around Campbell River.
A notice posted on the website of the Ocean Grove Elementary says the school has “received a confirmed report from the Conservation Officer of a cougar sighting April 8, 2019 on Finch Road.”
“Please take appropriate precautions with your children,” the notice says, adding that anyone who sees a cougar should report it to the BC Conservation Office’s 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277.
Ripple Rock Elementary said on its Facebook page on Tuesday that “there was a large cougar spotted on our back field this afternoon” and that conservation authorities were notified.
The school urged families to “take extra precaution coming to and from school,” and added that extra supervision would be added to the back field during recess breaks on Wednesday.
The message added that anyone who encounters a cougar shouldn’t run, but should make themselves as large as possible with arms in the air, back away slowly and be loud.
An officer with the BC Conservation Office didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on Wednesday morning.
This follows multiple cougar sightings reported in recent days on social media.
On Sunday morning at around 8:15 a.m., local resident Deborah Wedel snapped a photo of a cougar on Steelhead Road, near Holly Hills Farm just north of the Campbell.
“He was just sauntering through,” said Wedel in a Facebook message to the Mirror. “He wasn’t interested in neighbourhood ducks or the local farm… thank goodness!”
On the Facebook group C.R. Cougar and Bear Sightings, other cougar sightings were reported at locations including Willis Road and Stories Beach, both on Monday.