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

Celebrating advancements in adventure tourism

Mike Wiegele receives doctor of laws degree from TRU

USW shows generosity despite tough times

Canfor employees present cheque for $500 to Clearwater Secondary School’s sports teams

UPDATE: Three wildfires discovered in Clearwater area

All new fires suspected to have been caused by lightning

Clearwater hosts fastball tournament

Home team takes first in both U12 and U 14 divisions

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read