A British Columbia man who fought off a cougar attack on his partner armed only with a spear has been hailed as a hero.
The man responded to the screams of his partner, who had been gardening outside her home on Flores Island, by running to her defence, and stabbing the wild cat several times with a spear.
The victim, aged 60, has undergone surgery and is expected to recover from the terrifying ordeal.
A conservation officer marvelled at the bravery of the cougar-killer, telling The Canadian Press: “It takes a lot of bravery to do what he did and I’m glad he was there to rescue her.”
“You know it could have turned out a lot differently if he hadn’t been around”, he added.
A team of conservation officers and a mountain lion hunter landed yesterday on Flores Island, off the cost of Vancouver island, in order to track the would-be man-eater. They found it dead just 20 metres from the attack site, apparently killed by the stab wounds inflicted in the struggle.
Conservation officers had previously attempted to track the cougar, after the same woman who it put in hospital on Sunday warned of an unusual encounter – but bad weather prevented hounds from taking the scent.
Cougar attacks are on the rise in North America, with over half of the 100 documented attacks since 1890 taking place in the last 25 years. The majority of these attacks have taken place on Vancouver Island, near the couple’s home, as prey populations have gone into steep decline.