Search begins for cougar that attacked woman
VANCOUVER - Conservation officers and tracking dogs arrived on the shores of a remote B.C. island near Tofino on Monday, looking for a cougar that attacked and critically injured a woman.
The 60-year-old woman was recovering in a Victoria hospital following the attack late Sunday afternoon on Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound, about 20 kilometres northwest of Tofino.
The victim was gardening around her home when the big cat jumped her from behind and began to maul her.
The animal had been prowling in the area for about a month and conservation officer Sgt. Ben York said the attack was purely predatory.
"They are doing it because they have decided that ... a human being is a possible prey animal," he said.
"It's very rare. It's something most folks don't have to worry about, ever," he added.
York said B.C. sees a couple of such attacks every year and they almost always occur in remote, wilderness areas.
The woman's husband fought off the cougar, impaling it with what York described as a boar spear, injuring the animal's shoulder, although the cat managed to escape into the bush.
A coast guard rescue boat rushed the woman to Tofino where she was airlifted to hospital in Victoria.
York could not provide an update on her condition but said conservation officers hoped to speak to her soon, as they try to determine what happened. (CKNW)