Cougar attacks small dog in British Columbia
Jessica Shaw and a friend were enjoying an afternoon hike when Shaw’s 14-pound dog, Oakey, who was running ahead off-leash, was grabbed by a cougar. “We heard barking and then my dog screaming and howling,” Shaw told CVT News. The attack happened on February 24 in Port Hardy, British Columbia.
Shaw and her friend chased the cougar and started yelling at it, trying to scare the big cat into dropping the dog. The cougar tried twice to climb a tree with the dog in its jaws, before finally giving up. “On the third jump, he dropped my dog and ran to the top of the tree just as I got to the bottom of the tree, where my dog was slumped on the ground covered in blood,” said said Shaw.
After rushing to the car, which took about 30 minutes, Shaw was able to get Oakey to an emergency vet, who determined the dog had suffered a bite wound to his left eye, resulting in multiple skull fractures. . In the weeks following the attack, vets removed Oakey’s left eye, along with three bone fragments from his brain.
Despite the serious injuries, Shaw says Oakey was a “little badass” throughout the ordeal. She added that the dog didn’t whine or moan and seemed to be adjusting quite well to life with one eye. Oakey should make a full recovery. A friend of Shaw’s set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the dog’s $13,000 medical bill.
About 600 cougars live on Vancouver Island, which is considered to have the highest concentration of the species in the world. The black-tailed deer, also abundant on the island, is the main prey of the felines.
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According to Shaw, the conservation officer who responded to the incident did not attempt to locate the cougar responsible for the attack because they had no way of identifying him. Local authorities have posted signs warning trail users of wildlife activity in the area. Shaw said she had hiked the trail in question 100 times and had never seen a cougar until now. She swears to always keep Oakey on a leash on her hikes from now on.