List of Confirmed Cougar Attacks
In the United States and Canada
2011 - 2020

This page will cover 10 years of confirmed cougar attacks from January, 2011, and continuing through December, 2020. An attack is defined primarily as an incident in which a wild cougar bit, clawed, or knocked down a human. An attack may be included that was thwarted if it appears contact was otherwise imminent. Attacks by captive cougars are omitted. Hunter incidents, attacks on animals, non-injury encounters, and accounts not confirmed to be cougar attacks have been moved to this separate Other Incidents Page. Many links expire on the internet, but my goal has been to present enough information here for researchers to find needed data from the original sources.

[Beier's Study Span 1890-1990] [1991-2000 attacks] [2001-2010 attacks] [Other Incidents]

Deaths are highlighted in red text.

2011    (4 Injury Reports, 3 Non-injury Reports, 1 Pet Report, 1 Defensive Injury Incident)

10 June. At about 1:15 in the afternoon, an adult cougar pounced Click to see Linnell after attack on 40-year-old Dean Linnell of Pemberton, BC, as he rode along the Far Side Trail in the Crumpit Woods area, just outside Whistler, B.C., about 30 miles north of Squamish, knocking his bike to the ground and barely missing him with its claws. Linnell was riding with three friends on a training run for the upcoming Test of Metal ride. He was alone, in front of his group by a few minutes, when the cougar jumped from above and behind. Luckily, the cougar caught the back end of his bike, not touching him but sending him crashing off the trail. He went over the handlebars and hit a tree, with his bicycle landing on top of him. He had glimpsed the blur of brown hurling toward him, and his extensive experience in the woods told him it had to be a cougar, so the 5' 8", 145 pound man was already yelling aggressively as he got to his feet--to do all he could to deter it.
I wasn't paying attention at all, I was completely cross-eyed [with exhaustion] at that point, but coming up the last switchback, I saw something pounce off the mossy knoll beside me and saw brown coming down behind me. When I saw the brown coming, I knew what it was right away. It must have been watching me the whole time from up on top of this knoll, and it just pounced as I rode right by it. It was sort of to the right rear of me and I saw the flash. The next thing I know, I'm crashing off the trail. I think it missed me and got the back of my bike. I was yelling and screaming and being aggressive, and as I looked up, there it was on the trail, maybe four or five feet away from me. I expected that a cougar bold enough to attack a human would be starving or sick, but that wasn't the case. It wasn't scrawny, it wasn't emaciated, it was a big, adult, healthy cougar. It was a beautiful animal, just a little too close, that's all.
Linnell picked up his bike, using it as a shield and shoving it toward the cougar repeatedly as he continued to behave as aggressively as possible and to appear as big as possible, but the cougar was not scared away.

He kept up the aggressive behavior and even managed to get the cougar to move a few feet off the trail when the friends he was riding with caught up. Linnell yelled to the others that there was a cougar, and in a few moments, there was a group of four riders challenging the cougar. It was maybe 20 feet away at this point, but didn't seem that intimidated--even when the riders started to throw rocks in its direction. "We didn't really scare it all that much," said Linnell. "One rock almost hit it in the head, and it just ducked its head to one side. It didn't even move its body. Eventually it leaped into the ravine and wandered away. It wasn't running, it just casually left."

Linnell said the animal was a large, healthy-looking cougar and estimates that it was eight feet from nose to tail. Since the Test of Metal mountain bike race was scheduled in the area on June 18, 2011, with approximately 800 riders expected to go through the same area, Sergeant Chris Doyle of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service brought hound dogs to the scene in an attempt to track and tree the cougar so it could be darted and moved to another area for obvious safety reasons. This was unsuccessful, but no cougar was sighted during the race in which Linnell posted a personal best time.

In retrospect, Linnell said he felt lucky to have been on a bike and not running, as he was able to use his bike as a weapon, but runners generally have nothing. He said the encounter was a reminder that we recreate near wildlife and that we should know what to do if we encounter a predator. "The main thing is to make sure, in that situation, that you don't run away or show the cougar your back," he said.

Undoubtedly due to his spotting the cougar and reacting appropriately, Linnell suffered only minor scrapes and bruises from his fall. Had he not glimpsed the cougar and prepared, or had the cougar not missed the cyclist and pounced directly upon him instead, the outcome might have been worse.

Sources: (Pique News Magazine; Cyclist knocked off bike by cougar in Squamish: Best to ride in groups if possible; By Andrew Mitchell; 06/13/2011) (The Squamish Chief; Mountain biker, friends fend off cougar: Animal that jumped him wouldn't back down, man says after Crumpit Woods incident; Meagan Robertson; 06/14/2011) (; B.C. mountain biker meets mountain cat; By Andy Ivens, Postmedia News; June 14, 2011) (National Post; Mountain biker wary after cougar attack; by Andy Ivens; 06/15/2011) (emails from Dean Linnell; 06/27/2011)

25/26 June. Tour Divide cyclists confronted by cougar in western New Mexico. See this non-injury report HERE

04 July. Nanaimo, British Columbia, teen fends off cougar attack. See this non-injury report HERE

12 July. Man scratched rescuing dog attacked by cougar near Kelwona, BC. See this pet attack report HERE

16 July. Utah man kicks cougar that swatted his leg in a surprise encounter. See this report HERE

31 July. In the evening, a six-year-old Canmore, Alberta, Canada, girl Click to see full photo of the cougar when released about a month prior this attack was walking along the shoreline trail in the Barrier Lake day-use area of Bow Valley Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country. She was by the Barrier Lake boat launch with her nine-year-old brother and parents when a healthy, less than 2-year-old, 79 pound, male cougar jumped out of the bush and pounced on her from behind.

The girl's father, who was walking in front of her, heard the commotion and turned around to find the cat attacking his daughter, said Glenn Naylor, district conservation officer with Alberta Parks in Canmore. He screamed at the cougar and tried to scare it off by throwing his water bottle at it. The cougar took off into the bush, leaving the girl with puncture wounds and some scratches to her head and other parts of her body. The family of four quickly left the day use area and returned home.

When conservation officers got word of the incident the next day, they responded by shutting down and evacuating the area to investigate. Cougar hounds from Pincher Creek were brought in to track the animal, and a 15-minute chase ended when the cougar was shot. A necropsy was scheduled for the cougar. "They'll be assessing the condition of it to see if there's any indication of why it [the attack] might have happened," said Dave Ealey of Sustainable Resource Development.

According to Ealey, the cougar was one of a pair siblings that had been captured in Banff National Park in June of 2011 after following hikers near Banff's Tunnel Mountain. The decision was made that they were a low risk to humans, and they were fitted with tracking collars and released so that they could be studied. Volunteers and provincial officials had been tracking this male for weeks, and Naylor said the cougar had not shown any worrisome behavior. Earlier, however, this cougar reportedly showed habituated behavior, meaning it was no longer afraid of humans.

The animal's sister was put down July 19 by conservation officers near the Canmore Nordic Centre after she attacked a cyclist's off-leash dog. She was starving and considered a high risk for another attack. She weighed only 46 pounds. Though her brother appeared healthy, Alberta Parks conservation officer Arian Spiteri said that it had just had a meal, so it was hard to tell how much of the cougar's weight to attributed to that. The scheduled necropsy would determine this as well as other factors.

Sources: (The Calgary Sun: News Alberta; Young girl survives cougar attack in Kananaskis; By Jenna McMurray; 08/02/2011) (The Calgary Herald; Dad fights off cougar after attack on daughter, 6, in Kananaskis; By Justin Brisbane; 08/02/2011) (The Canmore Leader; Six-year-old survives cougar attack; By Jesse Winter; 08/03/2011) (CTV News - Calgary; Cougar destroyed after attack;; 08/03/2011)

29 August. At about 6:00 p.m., 18-month-old Julien Sylvester from Ucluelet was attacked Julien at about 15 months and seriously injured by a cougar at Swim Beach in the Kennedy Lake day-use area of Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, about 10 miles northeast of Ucluelet.

He was with his grandfather, his grandfather's friend, and his four-year-old sister Iris at this beach where they had been going all summer. In an interview, the mother of the victim Sarah Hagar said, "My father mentioned how quickly and silently it happened. There was no snapping of twigs, there was nothing. It went from Julien was playing in the sand to looking up and Julien was in the cougar's mouth." Before anyone could react, it had pounced on the toddler, pinning him to the ground with his face in the sand. With its paw on Julien's back, it sank its teeth into Julien's skull. Recalling what her father told her about the attack, "It was his friend who looked up and saw Julien in the cougar's mouth and yelled to my dad to get his attention."
Many well-publicized versions tell a significantly different version. [As the group packed up for the day and were headed away from the beach towards a wooded path, the toddler had gone about three meters - just a few steps - ahead. The cougar surprised the group quickly and silently from the forested edge of the beach near the trailhead. Before anyone could react,...] I have chosen both the mother's and the grandfather's quoted words instead.
The boy's grandfather went into instant action, and he and his friend are credited with saving Julien's life after they yelled and acted aggressively towards the mountain lion, convincing it to drop the child. Then they succeeded in deterring the cat when it lunged toward Iris. When it dropped Julien, the cougar lunged for his sister and the two men yelled intensively at the cat. Thankfully, the cougar paused and did not make contact with the girl, but it did not run away. The adults continued aggressively to stare at and to shout at the cougar, as they picked up the two children and slowly backed away from the predator.

The grandfather immediately "got the child to medical attention," said Parks Canada spokeswoman Arlene Armstrong. With the animal finally gone, he called for help from the park's visitor center. Julien was rushed by ambulance to nearby Tofino Hospital, then flown by helicopter to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver, where he was listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit. He suffered two skull fractures and an area of brain damage where one of the cougar's teeth penetrated brain tissue in his cerebellum which controls fine motor control, balance, and co-ordination. There were also claw marks on Julien's chest that required stitches and impressions of paw prints marking the boy's chest and back.

The next several hours were a blur for Julien's mother. She recalls she and her husband racing from their home toward the visitors' center where paramedics were loading Julien into an ambulance. She remembers seeing her son screaming and writhing. She knew the paramedics were worried the cougar had shaken her son and damaged his spine. She could see a puncture wound behind her son's head, and the blood.

But Julien got lucky, said his doctor, if one can consider luck after such an encounter. "It's actually a fairly small area of damage [to the child's cerebellum] and it has not caused him any definite harm," said Dr. Paul Steinbok, the pediatric neurosurgeon at B.C. Children's Hospital, who spent two-and-half hours operating on Julien. Two days later he was moved out of intensive care and taken off morphine.

Steinbok said the boy's skull was punctured and depressed in two places on the back of his head.
We would have expected that if he had a problem [from the injury to the boy's cerebellum], he would have a problem with imbalance. But his balance seems to be good. He seems to be able to walk, he seems to be able to use his arms as normal, his motor function seems to be in good shape. It went through the bone into the brain, but it barely missed a major vein that would have caused massive hemorrhage. It was high enough that the tooth didn't go into his spine. We could see where the bone had been broken and pushed in, and the covering of the brain had been torn in one of those areas. There was some damage to the brain that we could see, and spinal fluid was leaking out.
Doctors removed the skull fragments, replacing them, as in a jigsaw puzzle, where they were expected to fuse, and they used some of Julien's own tissue to close the covering of the brain. The claw marks on Julien's chest were repaired with stitches. Steinbok said his main concern would now be infection, and Julien was placed on antibiotics. After the antibiotic regime was completed, Julien was expected to be doing well enough to return home, though he was expected to need follow up treatments in Vancouver. A trust fund was established to help the family with medical costs including Julien's evacuation to Vancouver. Apparently Canada's national health care does not cover such expenses.

Though he was "very traumatized and upset" over how quick and quiet the attack was, the boy's grandfather, who had been visiting the family since June, did everything right in aggressively jumping at the cat, screaming and yelling, picking up the kids, and then slowly backing away while maintaining eye contact. "He felt that the animal had probably been hunting at the tree line all day, like waiting for a food opportunity all day," Hagar said of her father.

Sarah Hagar, 32, and husband Chris Sylvester, 40, both teachers from Ucluelet, were still in shock a few days after the attack. An Ontario native, Hagar said she has always had great respect for wildlife, but it's hard for her to think about returning to the West Coast's rugged beaches.
It's a lot more real now. You always behave like [predators] are there, but once they've injured one of your children, it's very scary in a different way: It's terrifying. It wasn't until Julien was actually out of the surgery and in the ICU that I felt like I could breathe a little sigh of relief. Like, 'OK, it's still a nightmare, but it's not quite as bad of a nightmare as it's been so far.'
Warnings at the visitor center had been prominently posted regarding both an increase in cougar sightings and wolf sightings. Cougar sightings had more than doubled. "There have been 150 reported sightings since April 1st. Last year over that same period there were only 60," said British Columbia conservation officer Peter Pauwels. The week previously Melissa Grimes and her brother had a terrifying experience when a cougar stalked them.

An intensive search for the attacking cougar was begun immediately, and the park was closed until it could be determined that the cougar was removed from the area.

Five days after Julien was attacked, a likely 2-year-old, healthy cougar was killed about 60 miles to the east in downtown Parksville because of public safety concerns, said the province's Conservation Officer Service. It was shot about 9:30 a.m. in a blackberry bush near the Park Sands Beach Resort, an ocean-front area crowded with campers, kids and dogs, and a community park next to the resort. Seven days after the attack on Julien and closer to 100 miles southwest, a healthy 18-month-old cougar was shot in Goldstream Provincial Park after being spotted boldly lurking close to campsites for a couple of days. Pauwels said, "There were lots of little kids there, and it's summer and a long weekend; the campground was completely full. It was a dangerous situation." Due to the distances and terrain, it is unlikely either of these was the same cougar that attacked Julien, so the search for that cat continued.

Sources: (The Vancouver Sun; Toddler, 18 months, attacked by cougar on Vancouver Island; By Cindy E. Harnett, Postmedia News; 08/31/2011) (; Big sister gets smile from tot who survived cougar attack; By Wendy Gillis, Staff Reporter; 08/31/2011) (The Vancouver Sun; Toddler in serious condition after cougar attack at park; By Cindy E. Harnett, Postmedia News With Files From Laura Kane; 08/31/2011) (Westerly News; UPDATE: West Coast boy victim of cougar attack; By Julia Prinselaar, Westerly News; 08/30/2011) (Times Colonist; Toddler's progress after cougar attack "a total miracle," mother says; By Cindy E. Harnett,; 08/31/2011) (Nanaimo Daily News; Cougar that attacked B.C. toddler eludes trackers; By Cindy E. Harnett, Postmedia News; 09/01/2011) (; Local toddler recovering after cougar attack at Swim Beach; By Julia Prinselaar, Westerly News; 09/01/2011) (TIMES COLONIST; Toddler's condition "good" after cougar attack; By By Richard Watts,; 09/01/2011) (Yahoo! News | The Canadian Press; B.C. boy mauled by cougar OK after surgery; attack pierced toddler's brain; By Keven Drews, The Canadian Press; 09/02/2011) (Vancouver Sun; UPDATE: Cougar shot near Park Sands Beach Resort in Parksville; By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun; 09/04/2011) (CTV News; Trust fund set up for B.C. boy attacked by cougar; By; 09/04/2011) (The Globe and Mail; B.C. boy mauled by cougar okay after surgery ; By Vancouver - The Canadian Press ; 09/02/2011) (Global BC; Mother of cougar attack victim speaks out {VIDEO}; By Global News; 08/31/2011)

22 September. Near his home, at about 8:30 p.m., a 10-year-old boy from Mores Creek, Idaho, (a subdivision northeast of Boise in southwestern Idaho) was chased and clawed by an approximately 18-month-old, 50 pound, female cougar. The boy was searching in thick brush for his missing hunting dog with his father and their other dog when he unexpectedly came upon a cougar. Startled, he fled, and the cougar gave chase. When the boy stumbled to the ground, the cougar swiped him with its front paws, scratching his arm and hand. The dog he was with jumped in and distracted the lion, allowing the boy to stand and challenge the cougar as he called to his father and drew his hunting knife. This made the predator hesitate and gave the dad enough time to fire several shots from his 9mm handgun to scare the lion away, according to senior regional conservation officer with Idaho Fish and Game, Matt O'Connell.

Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers, an off-duty Meridian police officer, a Boise County sheriff's deputy, and four dogs arrived soon after the incident and began searching for the lion. Later the same night, they found the juvenile cat when its eyes reflected their search lights. She was guarding the carcass of the family's missing dog. The search party members fired their weapons and were able to kill the lion. "When a lion has actually made physical contact with a person and in conjunction with that, has killed a domestic animal and has been close enough to that residence, the animal did need to be euthanized at that time," O'Connell said.

O'Connell said the boy, whose family asked not to be identified, received first aid at home for minor scratches and was expected to get a tetanus shot. His biggest worry, O'Connell said, was that his friends at school wouldn't believe his story about the attack.

Sources: (KIFI Idaho Falls, ID |; Young Boy Attacked By Mountain Lion Near Idaho City; By Associated Pres; 09/23/2011) (; Officers kill mountain lion that clawed Idaho boy; By Laura Zuckerman, Reuters; 09/23/2011) (Idaho Statesman; ; By Joe Jaszewski; 09/23/2011) (KIVI TV, Boise, ID | Today's ABC 6; Cougar killed after attacking boy, killing dog in Boise County; By Mac King; 09/23/2011) (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Cougar killed after attacking boy, killing dog in Boise County; By Jessie L. Bonner; 09/23/2011)

25 October. Cougar attempts to jump hunter near Loon Lake in British Columbia. See this non-injury report HERE

2012    (5 Injury Reports, 1 Possibly Unintentional Injury Report, 1 Unconfirmed, Non-injury Report)

05 February. After dining in the adjacent restaurant, at about 8:00 p.m. Click for more photos the Hobbs family from Leander, Texas, took the paved walkway back to their room at the Chisos Mountain Lodge located at the head of the Chisos Mountain Range within Big Bend National Park. What was described as a small, young, undernourished lion jumped in front of his mother, Kristi Harris, and grabbed 6-year-old Rivers Hobbs. His mother was holding Rivers' hand, and his father, Jason Hobbs, was holding Rivers' 4-year-old brother Hagan's hand when Rivers was attacked, not on a park trail or while camping outdoors in the park, but on the walkway between the Chisos Mountain Lodge Restaurant and the lodge itself. In fact, another family had told them of fending off a cougar stalking their young daughter earlier in the day on the Window Trail, located at the trailhead of the Chisos Basin. They eventually got it to leave when they threw a backpack at it which the cat then took into the brush. The Hobbses had planned to camp out but heeded the warning they were given. That was why they had decided to spend the first night of their vacation eating at the restaurant instead and spending the night at the lodge, and throughout the day, they made sure to keep their boys close by, Harris said.

"This cat ran in front of me, had to cross in front of me and grab my son and dragged me and my son away from where we were walking. I still had him by the hand for a good while and then the animal gave a huge jerk and pulled him to the ground and took him by the face," said Kristi Harris. "This attack did not happen on a trail. We were not hiking," Harris said. "We were on a paved walkway in between a restaurant and a hotel, and this cat grabbed my child from me." Harris said the lion dragged Rivers into a bush next to the walkway. She said Jason Hobbs jumped on top of the lion and was hitting it while she gripped its hind legs; Hobbs eventually stabbed the lion's chest with his pocketknife, and the lion dropped the boy and ran away. "All the precautions people are told to take, we did everything -- and it didn't matter," Harris said. "It didn't slow this cat down one bit."

In the forum for the high end cutlery knife brand (Spyderco) that the father used to thwart the attack on his son, Jason Hobbs posted:
"I credit my EDC caly 3.5 with saving my 6 year old son's life last night. A mountain lion attacked outside of the restaurant at the Chisos Mountain Lodge in Big Bend National Park. It attacked quickly and ferociously from the brush near the sidewalk, and pulled him away from my wife, into the brush near the sidewalk. I turn[ed] and ran to my son, finding the lion clamped on his face. It didn't respond to bare fist pounding, so I went for my knife and stabbed the lion in the chest. The blade went in easily and fully, and the lion came off my son and ran off into the woods. That all-day carry of the knife and practice drawing and snapping open that annoyed my wife so much paid off - drawing the knife and stabbing the cat seemed second nature...As of now, the lion has not been found. Judging by the amount of blood on the blade, and the angle of entry, I believe it may have crawled off somewhere to die."
Rivers was rushed to the nearest hospital in Alpine, Texas, Big Bend Regional Medical Center, where he remained overnight with puncture wounds and cuts. Gashes on his right cheek and chin required 17 stitches to close, but the boy never shed a tear. "We're lucky he's gonna get away with some scars, and it didn't take his eye or get his neck or anything," said Jason. Rivers was released from the hospital in Alpine 02/06/2011, but he had to be admitted at the Scott & White Healthcare (one of the nation's best regional hospitals) in Temple, Texas, again on 02/09/2011 since his doctors suspected that his wounds had become infected. Rivers' mother said tests would be run to determine what bacteria had infected Rivers and whether his salivary gland was damaged. He might need surgery, his third operation since the attack, she said. The same week Rivers had began a series of rabies shots.

The family says the lodge made a troubling choice when they learned of the attack. "They made a decision right there in front of me that they were not going to make an announcement that there was a mountain lion attack outside and that the animal was still at large," said mother Kristi Harris. She was concerned that the lodge wasn't doing enough to find the cat and warn visitors. Harris added that she was upset by the response the attack garnered from park rangers. "There was no ranger there when it happened," she said. "They don't see danger in animals wandering in the parking lot, campgrounds, and outside the restrooms; it's just ridiculous. They don't have the appropriate culture there at all."

Frequent Park visitor, William Egger, says signs are posted on every trail around the Chisos Lodge warning visitors that they are in an area where mountain lions are known to be present. This is also disclosed in handouts given to every visitor. Egger says the walkway between the restaurant and lodge is lighted but not brightly like a shopping center parking lot. "It would be easy for an animal to be in the shadows and not be noticed." Park Spokesman David Elkowitz said it is very unusual for a mountain lion to attack someone so close to buildings.

Early the next morning, Park rangers began evacuating nearby trails and campsites. The Chisos Basin area, along with the Window, Pinnacles, Boulder Meadow, and Juniper Flats trails were all closed, officials said, and dog teams were used to search for the cat. Traps were also set to try and capture the lion. The lion, which is believed to be an injured young male, will be killed if found, said Elkowitz. He said it is believed that the same mountain lion was involved in the earlier attack that was thwarted with a backpack.

On April 16, 2012, it was reported that Elkowitz believed searchers had found the lion involved in this incident, but there was insufficient DNA evidence to prove it. Because of the male cat's poor condition, he was put down at the end of February in 2012.

Sources: (CBS 7 - KOSA; Austin Boy Attacked By Mountain Lion in Big Bend National Park 2/6/12; By CBS 7 Staff Reports; 02/06/2012) (; Leander Boy Attacked By Mountain Lion; By Fox 7 staff; 02/08/2012) (Fox 8 - Cleveland; Mountain Lion Snatches Boy, 6, During Family Outing; By Dan Jovic; 02/08/2012) ( - Austin, TX; Mountain lion snatches Leander boy in Big Bend; child survives<; By Farzad Mashhood, American-Statesman Staff; 02/07/2012) (Yahoo! News; Trappers scour Texas park after mountain lion attack; By Jim Forsyth; Editing by Corrie MacLaggan; 02/07/2012) (The Christian Post; Father Stabs Mountain Lion with Pocket Knife to Save 6-Year-Old Son; By Setrige Crawford , Christian Post Reporter; 02/08/2012) (NY Dailey News; 6-year-old boy survives mountain lion attack at state park: Mountain cat still on loose in west Texas; By Philip Caulfield; 02/07/2012) (; Mountain lion attack closes trails, campsites in BBNP; By Amanda Tilley; 02/09/2012) (; Mountain lion attack closes trails, campsites in BBNP; By Amanda Tilley; 02/09/2012) ( - ABC; Setback for Leander boy attacked by mountain lion; By KVUE News; 02/10/2012) ( - The Blotter - Austin, TX; Leander boy attacked by mountain lion hospitalized again; By Clara O'Rourke; 02/11/2012) (Spyderco Knives and Sharpeners; Thread: caly 3.5 vs. mountain lion; By spyderco registered member: jasonhobbs; 02/07/2012) (emails from William C. Egger, Jr., Esq.; 02/10/2012 and Farzad Mashhood; 02/13/2012) (KOSA | CBS 7 News; Mountain Lion Caught After February Attack 4/16/12; By Shannon Murray; 04/16/2012)

01 July. Anonymous man's atypical story of his attack while sleeping "confirmed" by California officials. See this report

15 August. On Wednesday night, 7-year-old Kaylum Doherty
Click for larger photo had just finished a meal of hotdogs and was heading down to the river with his dad. "I went to wash my hands and pfffft ... I'm almost history. Daddy threw a rock at him and now he's dead," the boy said.

His father Rick Doherty, Kaylum, and his father's girlfriend Bobbi Jo Shafer were camping at Sprout Lake, west of Port Alberni, on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. When the cougar attacked his son, the father acted quickly. Indeed, he did strike the cougar in the head with a rock--and his girlfriend hit the animal with a frying pan. It ran off into the bush.

After Kaylum's parents fought the animal off, they discovered there was no cellphone reception in the area, so they managed to load the profusely bleeding boy into the family car. Just as they were finally able to call 9-1-1, their car broke down, so an ambulance was sent to transport Kaylum to the the hospital. "Kaylum stayed calm through the whole thing," Shafer said. "We were the ones who were panicking." "The family experienced a lot of physical and emotional trauma as a result of the event," Conservation Service Chief Kelly Larkin said. "Even getting to safety was a challenge they had to fight through."

"The cat only managed to sink his teeth into hiz shoulders, and he tore a bit of his scalp off," Rick Doherty said from his son's bedside. "But nothing that can't be repaired." Still he said the gravity of the situation was just hitting him. "Last night it started to sink in to how close I came to losing my son. I don't know what I would have done if that happened." "The cougar almost ate me for lunch ... and breakfast," said Kaylum from his hospital bed in Port Alberni.

Kaylum underwent surgery to repair his torn scalp and puncture wounds on his shoulder and back, and was expected to make a full recovery.

An inspector with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, Chris Doyle, says officers used hounds to track the cougar the next day, and a young, 30 kg, male animal was shot and killed Thursday. A necropsy revealed that cougar was young and malnourished. Doyle said the attacking cougar was half the average weight for a healthy male--and that the cougar was likely in its first year of trying to survive on its own.

Braveaward2-Feb7-5644.jpg Febuary 01, 2013, Kaylum Doherty, now 8-years-old, was presented with a certificate of bravery and a service medal in a special ceremony at the BC Conservation office in Port Alberni. Kaylum expressed an interest in becoming a conservation officer, officials said. "It's important to recognize people's bravery in the face of adversity," Conservation Service Chief Kelly Larkin said. "Kaylum is a symbol for the conservation service, and a good spokesperson at his school."

Doherty's father Rick and Bobbi Jo Shafer were presented with bravery awards as well. Rick accepted his award with humility saying his actions weren't out of the ordinary. "I did what any other father would have done in the same situation," he said.

.During the recounting of the event, Rick choked back tears and began tremoring while listening. "It's like reliving it, and I never want to experience something like that again," he said. "My son is better and safer now though, and that's what's important. Kaylum's long road to recovery has nearly ended. The boy's nightmares are fewer and he's begun to venture into the backyard. It helps that we have a couple of dogs back there now," Rick said.

The event had an impact on Richard's and Bobbi-Jo's relationship, and the couple separated. Shafer said she felt lack of counselling regarding the family's trauma played a role in the separation.

Sources: (Huffpost British Columbia; Cougar Attack At Sproat Lake BC Injures Boy; By Andree Lau; 08/16/2012) (News1130 | Local News Radio Across Canada; Boy mauled by a cougar on Vancouver Island: The seven-year-old has injuries to his head and shoulder; By News1130 Staff; 08/16/2012) (CBCnews | British Columbia; "Cougar almost ate me for lunch," says 7-year-old B.C. boy; By CBC News--with files from the CBC's Chris Brown and Lisa Cordasco; 08/17/2012) (Alberni Valley News; Alberni cougar attack victim awarded for bravery: By Wawmeesh G. Hamilton - Alberni Valley News: 02/04/2013)

25 August. In the evening, 4'2", 78 pound Angie Prime, 35, was sitting in the living room
Click for larger photo of her home in Trail, located in the West Kootenay region of the Interior in south central British Columbia, Canada. She had been talking to her husband on the phone and was getting ready to take her three dogs out for a walk before turning in when she caught a flash of something that should not have been in the house. Probably unable to hunt normally, an old emaciated cougar, risked entering the darkened house through an open screen door in a probably desperate search for a meal, and it attacked her.

When the cougar was but a few feet from her, and after a surreal moment of staring between Prime and the cougar, the animal prepared to pounce on the small woman who was sitting on the couch with 2 14-month-old pomeranian-chihuahuas puppies and her 11-year-old female black border collie, Vicious.

With just a few seconds to react, Prime did her best: "I just tried to block myself and raise my leg up and screamed like crazy," Prime told the Toronto Sun. "She got one paw on me and I got three punctures on my upper thigh from her claws," she said. That's when aptly named Vicious sprang to her aid, driving the cougar off. "My dog jumped off the couch, and flew after it and was running out the door after it." The dog ran the cougar out of the house and up an embankment until the animal was far away from the property.

Shortly afterwards, human help also arrived. "My neighbors beside me heard me screaming, and my neighbor across the street heard, me and they came running out," Prime told CBC News the next morning as she recovered at home.

Trail RCMP Sgt. Rob Hawton said the cougar was gone before officers arrived that night, and a subsequent search was not successful. Operating on a tip from a passerby on the Monday morning after the Saturday night attack, officers located the cougar 400 metres from the attack location. Using tracking hounds, they successfully cornered and eventually destroyed the animal. B.C. Conservation operations inspector Aaron Canuel said the cougar was a very old female, around nine--near the lifespan extent for a big cat in the wild. It was emaciated at around 50 pounds, well below the average female cat's weight of 120 pounds.

When conservation officers canvassed the area the next day after the attack, people reported seeing the cougar in the neighborhood for the past several weeks. "Unfortunately, no one called it in," Canuel said. That's one thing we encourage people to do is that if they see a cougar in the neighborhood consistently to phone us so we can take action." Canuel did not rule out the possibility of another attack by a cougar in the neighborhood since "that whole area holds potential."

It was Prime' additional opinion that the cat was hanging out in the neighborhood and her dogs—including two puppies—were a draw for it.

Earlier this month, the president of the Trail Wildlife Association, Terry Hanik, raised the alarm of a rise in predators in the region. Hanik said cougars and wolves were pushing into the area, adding their numbers to the huge number of coyotes already plaguing the back country and diminishing the deer population, forcing predators to look into more settled areas where deer have been thriving for years.

Sources: (CBCnews | British Columbia ; B.C. woman recounts 'surreal' cougar attack in her house: Trail resident says her border collie saved her life; By CBC News ; 08/28/2012) (The Province; B.C. woman, dog fend off cougar attack from couch; By Timothy Schafer, The Canadian Pres; 08/28/2012) (; Dog Protects His Owner From Cougar Attack ; By Kelli Bender; 08/29/2012) (The London Free Press | London, Ontario; Dog protects B.C. woman during cougar attack; By Dave Dormer, QMI Agency; 08/29/2012)

11 September. In the split second before it leapt,
38-year-old John Frank Jr. heard the cougar whistling. Then it pounced, and the son of Ahousaht First Nation Chief John Frank Sr. knew he was fighting for his life. "There's no two ways about it--he was trying to eat me," he said. The drama started in the community of Ahousaht, located north of Tofino, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island's west coast, when John Frank Jr. was returning home from work at about 5:30 p.m. He remembered he had left his hand-held 2-way VHF radio--an important means of communication in the community--on the excavator, so he returned to retrieve it.

After parking his vehicle, he walked to the excavator, picked up the radio and turned back, walking a few meters. That's when Frank said he heard the cougar whistle and then spotted it sitting on a 4.5-meter-tall embankment. He estimated the animal was 7 feet long and at least 150 pounds. "I made eye contact and then he leans forward and was going to jump me." Frank said he ran back to the excavator and jumped on its left track, but his heart sank when he realized he had locked the door to the cab, and he could not climb inside to safety. So he jumped away from the cougar on the machine's other track, and that's when the animal caught him mid-air, tearing his pants with its claws from his left knee down to the bottom.

Knocked off balance by the animal, Frank said he landed hard on his right hip on the right track, leaving him with a bruise. "I grabbed the railing for the excavator, pulled myself up onto the excavator, and as I was just pulling my leg over to get onto the excavator, it took a swipe and got my left shoe." The animal hissed hard at him and displayed its massive teeth, said Frank.

Still trying to get away, Frank said he tried to climb the excavator's boom, but dropped his radio on the top of its cab. Frank said he jumped back down, picked up his radio, and scrambled back up on to the boom and found enough safety there to call for help with the radio. As the calls for help were broadcast throughout the community, his father listened in horror. Frank Senior said, "His voice was just frantic on the VHF, and then everyone went charging up to the gravel pit to help." It was just minutes later, when about 30 local residents began to show up, and the cougar fled up the same embankment it had jumped down from earlier before escaping into the forest. The instant community support was inspiring, his father said. "We are really strong and united. It amazes me to watch Ahousaht in action."

From the start to finish, the attack only lasted three to five minutes, Frank said. The cougar had disappeared, leaving Frank Jr. with shredded pants, a missing shoe and frayed nerves. "I was really lucky. I have eight children, and I'm just blessed to be alive and be able to spend more time with them," said Frank Jr., who returned to work at the gravel pit Wednesday even though conservation officers were unable to find the animal.

Port Alberni Conservation Officers did not arrive until approximately 10:00 p.m. the night of the attack. Since it was dark and the cougar had fled, a search was not begun until the next day. Ben York of the B.C. Conservation Service said the predator attack team sent out was unable to track the cougar. "The dogs didn't indicate anything. There was no scent trail at all," said York, who believes it might have been a young animal. Conservation officers will now wait to see if the cougar reappears, York said. Frank Jr. was lucky, He said. "Usually, if the claws and teeth make it through the pants, they make it into the flesh as well," he said.

Frank Senior believed the cougar was the same animal seen on the reserve over the past two years. "We just took it that we were on their turf and we'd better just get along. Now it has to go because of fears for children's safety," he said. Frank Senior said everyone was told to keep off the streets the night of the attack and school was canceled the next day. Children and pets were kept indoors. Despite the cautions, the family held a prayer chant at the site a few hours after the attack. "I gave thanks to the creator for allowing me to live another day of life," Frank Jr. said.

Sources: (Times Colonist | Victoria; Ahousaht First Nation unite to save chief's son in cougar attack north of Tofino; By Judith Lavoie,; 09/13/2012) (Westerly News; Man's nerves unshaken after cougar attack; By Andrew Bailey; 09/12/2012) (Canadian Press via Yahoo! News; Cougar tears man's pants during attack on west coast of Vancouver Island; By Keven Drews, The Canadian Press; 09/12/2012) (Ha-Shilth-Sa, Canada's Oldest First Nation's Newspaper; Starving cougars wreak havoc in Nuu-chah-nulth villages; By Denise Titian; 09/12/2012)

23 November. At about 12:23 pm, the Brewster County Sheriff's Office received
Photo by AirPhoto ''Mesa de Anguila at Terlingua Creek looking south; the U.S. is in the foreground, Mexico across canyon'' a call from 29-year-old Andrea Pinero Cebrian that she was attacked by a mountain lion and was bleeding from wounds to her head on the Mesa de Anguila Trail, located in the far western reaches of Big Bend National Park. She and her companions were exploring the Mesa de Anguila near Lajitas when she was attacked.

BBNP rangers, Terlingua medics and a BCSO deputy responded to her call. Cebrian was treated at the scene but declined transport to the nearest hospital (over 60 miles away in Alpine) as her injuries were not considered to be life threatening. After onsite treatment, a park spokesman said Cabrian and her party then were able to drive to the hospital in Alpine.

The Mesa de Anguila Trail area is remote and isolated from the rest of Big Bend National Park. Recommended for experienced desert backpackers only, its appeal is its exceptional views. The trail follows the escarpment that forms the Santa Elena Canyon (cut by the Rio Grande River) between Texas and Mexico.

The Lajitas Resort issued an advisory about a dangerous animal at large, and Park rangers said they would be searching for the lion. The Mesa de Anguila was closed to all visitors in order for rangers and park biologists to investigate and patrol in search of the mountain lion. Park Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones noted "Visitor safety is our main concern here in Big Bend, and we will monitor and close the Mesa until we deem it safe for visitors."

Sources: (Alpine Daily Planet; Mountain lion attack reported on Mesa de Anguila Trail in BBNP; By Perry White aka Mike Perry; 11/24/2012) ( | Midland, Texas; Mountain Lion Attack Reported at Big Bend National Park; Staff Report NewsWest 9; 11/23/2012) (Big Bend | National Park, Texas; Mountain Lion Attack in Big Bend National Park; Contact David Elkowitz; 11/24/2012) (My San Antonio; Big Bend hiker injured in mountain lion attack; By Nolan Hicks; 11/25/2012)

2014    (2 Injury Reports, 1 Non-injury Report)

04 August. Colorado woman serenades stalking cougar, flummoxes the cat with opera. See this remarkable report HERE

05 August. A woman biologist with Alberta's provincial Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) was conducting research with six other environmental workers in the area of Nose Mountain south of Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada, when she was attacked by a cougar. The attack was not provoked. She was working in the ESRD field camp set up specifically for a fisheries sustainability indexing project, and she was compiling data for the index. There was no cellphone or radio reception at the camp, but calls for help were made by satellite phone. ESRD spokesperson Jamie Hanlon said co-workers managed to give the woman first aid before she was transported to The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie by STARS air ambulance.

The scientists were uncommunicative about the woman's condition, but Hanlon did state that she was able to communicate with hospital staff and her family. Additional details came forward which indicated that the injuries sustained by the victim were serious, so it is to be hoped more information will be released.

A team of four Fish and Wildlife officers and a houndsman were sent to track the cougar. Brendan Cox, a spokesperson with the Justice and Solicitor General's officer, said that little was known about the cougar, but that it would have to be euthanized if found because it was a public safety concern.

Sources: (Global News | Alberta, Canada; Alberta Environment worker mauled by cougar, victim recovering in hospital; By Staff, The Canadian Press; 08/06/2014) (Edmonton Sun; Cougar attacks biologist near Grande Prairie; By Tom Bateman, QMI Agency; 08/07/2014) (eCanadaNow; Biologist Recovering After Cougar Attack in Near Grand Prairie; By Staff; 08/07/2014)

25 August. 17-year-old Mykaela Belter of Saint Albert, Alberta,
Mykaela Belter on right Canada, was walking a busy route on a trail with her family near Bertha Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park in the southwest corner of Alberta when a mountain lion jumped out and grabbed her as they passed by some bushes. The cougar had been threatening other hikers throughout the day, but this was the first attack. Officials said the animal had been "frequenting" the Lakeshore Trail area, from the Waterton townsite to Boundary Bay.

Mykaela recalled the next day. "My sister and I were slightly apart from the group, walking in front. We were talking and laughing and being noisy. I passed a bush and it rustled, and when I turned to look, a cougar jumped out and it grabbed my side and lower back. It really didn't hurt very much--it felt like when a house cat claws you, but then I looked down and thought, 'oh wow, a cougar.'"

The St. Albert teenager, her sister Gabrielle, her brother Jaxon, and her dad Gary were a part of another group hiking the trail when she was grabbed by the cat. Belter says she was taken by surprise as she walked ahead with Gabrielle, her dad and brother just a few steps behind. Mykaela said "[Gabby] grabbed my arm and pulled me back and I kind of twisted away, then my dad yelled and it kind of scared the cougar away and it let me go. It was all really quick."

Gabrielle's actions may have helped save her sister's life, but the 19-year-old said she barely had time to think. "It all happened so fast. I was super surprised to see the cougar hanging onto her. It kind of pulled her towards the bushes, and that started freaking me out. I panicked and grabbed her arm while screaming, because I didn't know what else to do. My sister jerked back and then it just let go. " Still, Gabrielle had the presence of mind and the courage to pull her sister away from the cougar, and her screaming may have further deterred the cougar, as it did release Mykaela.

Not far behind, Belter's father Gary quickly came upon the scene ready to fight for his daughter's life--though he admitted that between adrenaline and shock, he could barely fathom what was really happening. "Part of it was being so shocked to even see a cougar, and then realizing, it has its paws around my daughter. The girls were just walking along together--the cougar stuck its head out of the bush, and then it lunged forward and grabbed Mykaela and started to pull her towards the bushes. Then I was running forward, thinking the cat can't pull her away that quickly, she's too big, and I can grab her--but then it let go." At first the cougar moved a meter or two back, and looked ready to pounce again, but the sudden commotion and crowd of hikers running to help convinced the mountain lion to leave.

A thankful teen had fairly minor injuries from the cat's claws. She was examined and treated at a hospital where she received four stitches to close one of the scratch wounds. The scratches and and bruises were along her thigh and lower back. For her dad, having his daughter safe and saying she's ready to hike again is all he can ask for--plus, the family now has a tale they will never forget. "It's more of a good story than anything now," he said.

The aggressive cougar was a 90 pound female. Wildlife officers tracked the cougar to the same crowded trailhead where Mykaela was clawed, and ended up destroying it after they found the animal stalking another group of hikers. Dennis Madsen, Waterton Lakes' resource conservation manager, said that two officers went right to the trailhead and proceeded up the trail to see if they could find the cougar. One of the officers came across the cougar which was now being aggressive toward another group of hikers.

The cougar was found to be healthy, well fed, and in apparently normal condition." Officials were somewhat baffled because the cat showed no signs of starvation or distress. Though the big cats are typically thought to be shy or at least sly, this animal was brazenly stalking people in a crowded area. Madsen said that the behaviour of the animal was very odd. In fact he stated that, "It was just plain mean. To have a cougar who is walking down a trail and encountering hikers is very unusual. I think it encountered 4-5 different groups of hikers throughout the course of the day." Parks officials sent the cougar's corpse for an autopsy to try to determine why the cat was repeatedly aggressive and seemingly ignoring instincts most cougars seem to follow.

Sources: (CTV News Calgary; Cougar menaces hikers in Waterton Lakes National Park; by Karen Owen; 08/26/2014) (Global News | Canada; Warning issued for trail users, after cougar attack in Waterton; by Tamara Elliott; 08/26/2014) (Calgary Sun; Alberta teen saved from cougar attack by sister; by Michael Platt; 08/26/2014) (The Globe and Mail; Edmonton-area teen escapes cougar in Waterton Lakes National Park ; by The Canadian Press, Waterton, Alta; 08/26/2014) (Lethbridge Herald; Teen escapes cougar attack; by Simmons, Garrett; 08/27/2014)

[Beier's Study Span 1890-1990] [1991-2000 attacks] [2001-2010 attacks] [Other Incidents]

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This page contains explicit attack accounts of incidents involving injury that I have found in order for those who live with lions or recreate in their territory to get an idea how to respond to threatening cougars. Though I have made every effort to report all attacks resulting in injury, unlike Paul Beier's reports from 1890 to 1990, which he felt were very close to complete, I suspect my list after 1990 is incomplete. Because I do not have a biologists' credentials and resources, I must rely on news reports and reports from "scouts" I have in various locations. Feel free to be a scout for this research. Meanwhile, be aware that the data here may fall short of the goal to reveal all injury attacks. If you know of an attack not listed here, please send an email to .

Permission freely granted to reference or even reproduce this page as long as links remain intact which credit all sources.
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