Yes, you read that right: a Canadian man punched a cougar in the face after it attacked his dog.
William Gibb, a resident of Red Deer, Alberta, stopped at a Tim Hortons in Whitecourt for a cup of coffee with a friend on December 26th. Before going inside, he let his dog out of his vehicle to use the bathroom when a cougar came out of nowhere and attacked his dog.
Thinking quickly, Gibb punched the cougar in the face to save his pet.
According to Gibb:
I let my dog out quickly to go to the bathroom, and within less than 30 seconds, she starts crying out. So I went and saw something wrapped around her – I didn’t even know what it was. I went over and hit the thing in the head. It ended up being a cougar and I thought, ‘what the heck?’…I scooped her up with my left, swung at the cat with my right. I tried to keep it away from me. I got a little scratch across the wrist but it didn’t do anything to me.
After he hit the cougar in the face, the cat let go of the dog and fled the scene. Gibb and his friend took the dog to a nearby veterinary clinic where the staff treated her for two large gashes on her chest and four puncture wounds on her neck. Fortunately, the dog is expected to make a full recovery.
Fish and Wildlife officers arrived at the scene within about an hour. They rapidly located the cougar in the woods near the Tim Hortons and killed it.
Whitecourt Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Tom Kalis recommended immediately calling the police in the event of a cougar attack and stated:
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.
Fortunately, punching the cougar in the face ended up working pretty well, even if it’s not the preferred strategy. Incidents like this one are becoming more and more common as cougar populations rebound all over North America and humans continue to move into previously undeveloped parts of the continent.
If you’re in cougar country, make sure you exercise caution and keep a close watch on your pets and small children. Even though it worked out for this guy, punching a cougar in the face is the last thing you want to have to do in an emergency.