“I haven’t slept properly since. Every time I close my eyes, I see that thing.”
It was a typical Friday afternoon at work for Stephen Campbell, 31, clearing an area for pipes to be welded about 90 kilometers south of Grand Praire.
But his usual day on the job was suddenly interrupted by a cougar lurking in the bushes.
Without a sound, and absolutely no warning, the 80-pound cougar was on top of Campbell before he even realized what hit him. Thinking it was his co-workers, who often horse around with each other, it took Campbell a second or two to realize what had just happened. But in an instant, he quickly realized the seriousness of the situation.
Then I felt the cougar bite into my skull and sink its claws into the sides of my face.
Luckily for Stephen, his co-workers courageously came to his aid.
“They were beating on it with skid hooks and their bare fists… They said it just looked at them like ‘I don’t care, get away from me’ and it kept attacking me.”
Campbell managed to pry the attacking cougar off of him and make an escape to the nearby truck. After waiting around in hopes that the cougar was gone, another worker got out to investigate the scene, and that’s when they realized the cougar was just waiting for someone else.
The second victim only sustained minimal injuries to his shoulder from the cougar, and managed to get back to safety. Eventually, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police showed up and shot the cougar as it laid hidden underneath a trailer, waiting for his next victim.
Campbell survived this brutal attack, but it took 30 stitches and he now needs reconstructive surgery on his right ear.
You can see the full interview from Stephen Campbell here.
Campbell is uncertain if he will be able to go back to work after this attack, but has some good advice for anyone working in the wilderness:
“If you ever feel like you have to go somewhere alone, refuse, don’t do it.”
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