A B.C. boy is lucky to be alive thanks to a quick reaction by a border collie in what could have been a serious cougar attack in Lillooet.
According to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, the boy was walking with two women and three other children, ranging from 10 to 13 years old, at a remote family cabin near Marshall Lake on Monday afternoon (Aug. 31) when the run-in with the big cat occurred.
The boy had ran ahead down a trail when the cougar suddenly dropped out of a tree and swiped the child, knocking him to the ground.
“The cougar pursued the boy on the ground, scratching his back and chest,” conservation officers said in a statement Wednesday night.
A border collie with the group jumped on the cougar’s back, while the group started screaming and throwing rocks and sticks – causing the cougar to run away.
Meanwhile, a nearby road worker helped administer first aid. The boy was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Conservation officers are now using hounds to track down the cougar.
Cougar attacks are rare in B.C., with roughly 2,500 sightings reported to conservation’s RAPP line.
If you encounter a cougar, officials suggest you stay calm, never run and pick up small children immediately. Children are most at risk in a cougar encounter and they should be taught how to behave appropriately.
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