BRITISH COLUMBIA (CNN) – A British Columbia man shot and killed a cougar last week, after the starving animal went after his dog.
One year old Bailey sure has a lot of energy, but of course her feistiness is no match for a cougar.
Shawn Hanson said, “Out of the corner of my eye, I see a little flash. I look down and it’s a small cougar dragging my dog off into the bushes.”
Shawn Hanson was on a fishing trip with Bailey late last week near Uclelet when he says a scrawny-looking cougar snatched the young pup and ran away.
Human Wildlife Conflict Specialist Mike Badry said, “It’s difficult for young cougars to find food. They often end up starving and quite desperate. This one obviously saw that dog as vulnerable and took advantage of that.”
Without much thought, Hanson gave chase. “I never really thought about what the cougar could do to myself.”
Hanson caught up with the animal and attacked it. “I reached back and punched it in the face.”
Bailey suffered a few small puncture wounds but otherwise was unharmed. The cougar was shot and killed.
After rescuing the Bailey, the owner grabbed his rifle. He found the cougar and it was still being aggressive so after one warning shot, he fired again.
Hanson stated, “For it to show aggression at me, it needed to be — it only had about ten feet and it would’ve been on me so I had to make that decision unfortunately.”
Cougars are common on Vancouver Island and will be aggressive if they are hungry. According to conservation officers, they had already had several reported sightings in that area.
Conservation Officer Brittany Mueller said, “Every person has the right to protect their property and personal safety and in this case the cougar was failing to retreat
Shawn Hanson is just happy the big cat didn’t get away with his little dog.
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