Vancouver Island Boy Survives Cougar Attack



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A boy from Lake Cowichan, B.C., was released from hospital after two pumas attacked him on Friday.

The boy was beaten by the big cats at the edge of his yard, sending him to the hospital with "significant surface injuries" until Saturday morning, according to dr. Inspector of Conservation, Ben York.

"[There were] some claw marks and bites on his head and arm. Fortunately, there [are] There are no broken bones or internal injuries and he is expected to fully recover, "York said in an interview on Sunday.

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He declined to provide the exact age of the boy, citing privacy, but said he is between 5 and 10 years old.

He also said that the boy's mother fought against his son's puma, resulting in some small bite marks on his hand. After arriving at the site, a B.C. The conservation team killed the two animals involved.

This kind of attack is extremely rare, York said. He added that his team did not find out exactly why these cougars attacked the child, but noted that both were young, emaciated and in extremely poor condition.

"Often, we have no idea [why] they choose a human being, "he said. It seems obvious from the outside, this time that these animals were starving for some reason. "

A necropsy will be performed on both animals next week.

Author of British Columbia, Paula Wild, who wrote the 2013 book The puma: beautiful, wild and dangerous, said Vancouver Island has the highest density of pumas in the world. She said it was difficult to track the exact number but cited estimates of between 4,000 and 11,000 people in the province.

But according to the Vancouver Island Wilderness and Historical Conservation website, a nonprofit site sponsored by the University of Victoria, Canada has about 4,000 cougars and 3,500 of them live in BC Of this, nearly a quarter reside on the island of Vancouver.

As a result of this density, Vancouver Island also has the highest rate of attacks, Wild said.

"Anyone [who] is living or visiting Vancouver Island should be aware of this, "she said in an interview. "Just take precautions, especially if you are in a rural area where there are green spaces or something; really pay attention to children. "

York said that small children are possibly more attractive to pumas than adults because they are smaller in size and generally act as prey.

"They'll be screaming and screaming, doing things that are more appealing to the cougars," he said.

WildSafeBC said that cougars account for approximately 2,500 calls to the Conservation Officer Service's reporting line each year. However, he said he saw no evidence that such attacks are increasing.

Vanessa Isnardy, provincial coordinator of WildSafeBC, said that puma attacks are less likely than attacks by grizzly bears or black bears.

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However, sightings and puma attacks usually end up attracting a lot of media attention, especially when cats end up in urban and residential areas. In 2017, two pumas were seen walking down the SkyTrain track in Port Moody. In 2015, one was spotted several times in downtown Victoria.

Isnardy added that in the past five years, there have been 15 cougar attacks on B.C. which resulted in injuries, including the incident that occurred on Friday, and no deaths recorded.

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