VICTORIA — Conservation officers have managed to shoot a large cougar with a tranquilizer dart — ending a terrifying chase through the streets near the edge of the provincial legislature grounds in Victoria.
The cougar was first spotted in the James Bay neighbourhood on Sunday night, but it eluded capture until almost 10 a.m. this morning.
Tracking dogs were brought in at dawn and chased the cougar over dozens of blocks, down streets, through back lanes and along front and back yards in the heritage neighbourhood.
At one point, the cougar was running toward a large urban park, chased by the dogs, police, reporters and even a multitude of noisy crows, but it suddenly wheeled, leaping back towards the crowd of people, then veered back towards the city.
Conservation officers finally brought down the animal, which they say is very large but not full-grown, and they are checking it over, in hopes of relocating it far from the city.
A cougar has been in the Greater Victoria-area for several days, with a confirmed deer kill found in the suburb of Oak Bay, but it’s not known if that cougar is the one tranquilized.