A 10-year-old boy is “lucky to escape serious injury” after a cougar jumped out of a tree and attacked while the youngster was walking in a remote area of British Columbia, the province’s Conservation Officer Service said.
The boy was with three other children and two women Monday afternoon on a walking trail at a family cabin near Marshall Lake, northwest of Lillooet and some 200 kilometres north of Vancouver, when the attack happened.
The the children, all aged between 10 to 13, and the women were together until the boy ran ahead, the BCCOS said.
“A cougar suddenly dropped out of a tree and swiped at the boy, who was knocked down,” wildlife officers explained on social media. “The cougar pursued the boy on the ground, scratching his back and chest.”
But the group’s dog intervened.
“A Border Collie with the group jumped on the cougar’s back while the group started screaming and throwing rocks and sticks,” officials continued. “The cougar ran away.”
A road worker who was in the area helped with first aid and the boy was taken to hospital with what the province called non-life threatening injuries.
Officers tracked the cougar, but have not yet found the cat.
Cougar Attacks Child Near Lillooet A 10-year-old boy is lucky to have escaped serious injury after a cougar attack…Posted by Conservation Officer Service on Wednesday, September 2, 2020
While cougar attacks are rare, wildlife officers offer these tips in case of an encounter.
“Stay calm, never run and pick up small children immediately,” the B.C. Conservation Foundation advises. “Children are most at risk in a cougar encounter and they should be taught how to behave appropriately.”