Cougar attacks young girl

Camper suffers only minor injuries after parents and dogs chase away large feline

“She was very lucky.”

That was how conservation officer Jesse Jones described an eight-year-old girl after she was attacked by a cougar in Wells Gray Park.

The incident occurred on Monday, July 6, Jones said.

A mom and dad from Alberta were setting up in Pyramid Mountain campsite. Time was around 9 or 9:30 p.m.

Their daughter was picking flowers in the ditch, probably within five meters of them.

The girl looked up and saw a cougar looking down at her. She turned towards her parents and the big cat pounced, giving her a puncture wound and a scratch on her side.

The parents yelled and shouted, and the father encouraged several dogs to go after the cougar, scaring it off.

The girl was taken immediately to the hospital in Clearwater.

Unfortunately, the conservation officers were not informed about the incident until 9:30 the following morning.

A predator attack response team made up of members from Kamloops, Kelowna and Vernon, plus a dog handler, was called out.

When they got to the scene of the attack, however, they found the temperature so hot there was no scent for the dogs to track.

While they were at the scene a park ranger called. A day-user who had been about to hike the Pyramid Mountain Trail had been confronted by a cougar near the trailhead sign.

The predator attack response team went to the new location, which was just a short distance away. The dogs were easily able to pick up the fresh scent and treed the big cat within 300 m.

The cat had distinctive black facial markings that the victim had described in an interview, and it was dispatched.

A complete necropsy was done, said Jones, but no injuries or disease were discovered.

It was a healthy, juvenile female, 12 to 13 months old.

“It had probably just left mom and was your typical teenager – not very good at hunting and not very good at recognizing prey and not-prey,” the conservation officer said.

The team did a search of the area to see if the mother or any siblings were nearby, but none were discovered.

Although cougars are not uncommon in the area, sightings are rare and attacks very much rarer still.

Jones said that, other than her injuries, the girl seemed in good spirits following the incident.

“She gave an excellent description of events and was happy to tell everything,” he said.

 

Just Posted

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

This bird’s eye view shows the tanker truck fire on Highway 24. Black smoke could be seen from a far distance. (Photo submitted by Kurtis Rainer)
RCMP respond to tanker fire in Little Fort

The Clearwater detachment responded to 37 calls this past week.

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

logo
Evacuation alert issued for residents south of Lytton

The TNRD Emergency Operations Centre in Kamloops says a wildfire in the area poses a threat to structures and residents.

Most Read