A 12 year old boy camping in Clinton, British Columbia,Canada, was walking to a toilet at a campground after dinner when a cougar, also called mountain lion, suddenly attacked.
The boy's screams alerted his family and others. A man was able to pull the cougar off, but not before the child received claw and bite wounds to his head and upper body.
A friend of the family fought the 70lb cougar off the boy. He tried to pull off the cat but it would not let go of the boy's head, so finally he put a stranglehold on the cat's throat and it let go and ran off.
Wildlife officials located the cougar near the campground after the attack and killed it.
The boy was airlifted to the hospital in Vancouver where he was reported to be resting and in stable condition.
Wildlife experts say cougars, also known as mountain lions, are opportunistic hunters and seem to be attracted to children. Conservation officers said this cat may have mistaken the boy for a deer or other wild prey.
Officials said the boy responded properly to the attack by trying to protect his head.
I have never seen a cougar here but we think we did have one close by, which I wrote about in a post called Something's out there in January.
When we lived on Vancouver Island, which has the greatest concentration of cougar or mountain lion in the world, it was rare to sight them, but one occasion two were seen hanging around the mailbox which was about 50ft from my front door, and I saw one standing in the middle of the back lane as I pulled out of our driveway. So we knew they were about.