06/27/2014 02:42 EDT | Updated 08/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Cougar sightings concern police, as animals elude hunt by conservation officers

WEST VANCOUVER, B.C. - Police in West Vancouver are warning residents to be extra vigilant after several cougar sightings in the district this month.

Warning signs have been posted in the Horseshoe Bay and Gleneagles communities after people spotted the dangerous animals.

Police say there have not ben any direct encounters so far between humans and the animals, but are advising families against letting small children play alone where the cougars have been seen.

Residents just north of Vancouver Island's Swartz Bay are also on high alert after a big cat was observed on a normally tranquil island nearby.

Conservation officers went to Piers Island on Monday, but their hounds couldn't pick up a fresh scent.

It's believed the animal swam from Sidney, B.C., to the deer dappled oasis, where it's been seen daily even though it continues to elude the officers.

(The Canadian Press, CFAX)