Will Gibb was waiting to meet a friend at Tim Horton’s in Red Deer, Alberta, when he found himself in an altercation with a cougar—and no, not a hot older lady—the actual animal.
According to CBC News, he let his two dogs, Sasha and Mongo, out of his truck for a little romp. Within minutes, he heard Sasha yelping.
His protective instincts took over as he went running towards the sounds:
“She was crying out in pain and distress so I went running,” said Gibb, a 31-year-old technician. “And I saw something wrapped around her so I ran up and punched it in the side of the head. At that point I realized it was a cougar.”
At first he charged into the woods after the cougar but then turned around to tend to his wounded dog. When he went to pick her up she bit his hand, latching on out of residual defense from the attack.
The cougar re-emerged from the woods for a second attack while he held onto Sasha.
“She was fighting for her life, and I was trying to keep the cougar at bay with my right, and it was pawing at me and I was throwing punches at it.”
The cougar was not easily deterred, however, as it quickly set it’s sights on Gibb’s other dog, Mongo, who was sniffing around the edge of the woods after Sasha took off from Gibb’s arms.
“I could see the cougar going for him, so I got between him and the cougar and started swinging and screaming at it, and called for my brother and friend to come give a hand,” Gibb said. “And then I reached down for the closest, biggest stick that I could find and I ran back into the trees to go fight the cougar.”
Shortly after, Gibb had his dogs safely back in his truck. Sasha had bite wounds around her neck and claw tears under her front armpits. She was immediately taken to nearby Hilltop Veterinary Clinic and treated for her injuries. The vet said the cougar has tore into her muscle, but that she will be ok.
Gibb ended up with a few claw scratches on his arms.
Upon consulting the Whitecourt Fish and Wildlife officials, police located the cougar in the woods nearby and killed it. Animals that come into town like this are seen as a “nuisance” and a risk to public safety.
RCMP Sgt. Tom Kalis said, “It’s not recommended [to punch a cougar in the face] but people act out of emotion sometimes when their animals or loved ones are involved.”
Gibb stated that rather than fear, anger took over when the well-being of his pets was threatened. Although it’s one-in-a-million occurrence, he stressed that he will be more careful when letting his dogs run around.
Check out his recount of the incident below!
Video: CBC News
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