A seven-year-old British Columbia boy was jumped by a young cougar in his yard, and his mom valiantly fought him off.
A confrontation between a young boy and a wild mountain lion made recent headlines, and the story is one of the closest examples of "it could have been worse" we've seen.
Ultimately, conservation officers on a remote part of Vancouver Island would be forced to put down two young mountain lions that were said to be on the brink of starvation. But before that ever happened a brave mother, with the help of some prayer, was able to defeat one of them that had grabbed her 7-year-old son.
Seven-year-old Zachery Bromley explained that "his back feet were still on the ground, but it like kinda like jumped up and his hands got me and when it got a grip on me it jumped on me."
That's when Zack's mom Chelsea Lockhart jumped into action. The Lake Cowichan woman said, "I could hear his voice, I could hear struggling, so I ran down the stairs and ran to his voice and turned the corner, and I see this animal on my child."
Here's a video from CTV News with more:
The Vancouver Island woman said she put herself and her son at God's mercy, and that, "I knew that in my own power and my own strength, I wasn't going to be able to pry its mouth open. So I start praying in tongues, and I'm just crying out to the Lord, just this really deep from the depths of inside of me. Three sentences into me praying, it released and it ran away."
Thankfully the juvenile cougar's jaw opened and the cat let go, although Zack was wounded on his arms and received stitches to his head. Conservation officer Ben York said, "We don't know why they were starving, but it seems quite probable that they've been without a mother for a number of months. It was as simple as just an opportunistic thing and a bit of desperation on their part."
For some on the island, the issue of rescinded hunting opportunities for the big cats plays a role in all of this. When big cats go into predatory mode, and when there are too many predators and not enough food, they start looking for alternatives. A cougar attack on a human being is sometimes one of few choices.
Famed hunter Jim Shockey who has had his own run-ins with these large predatory cats has said, "(Who) do you think they will look upon as dinner next?"
Right now, the only thing that matters is that this 7-year-old boy is okay and that he has an absolute hero for a parent! When your mom fights off a wild animal, you can rest assured you're being looked after!