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  • Ida Lively
    Man Recovers After Battling, Killing Cougar Sat Aug 3, 9:00 AM ET By Allan Dowd VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A man was recovering from serious
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5, 2002
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      Man Recovers After Battling, Killing Cougar
      Sat Aug 3, 9:00 AM ET

      By Allan Dowd

      VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A man was recovering from serious
      injuries on Friday after he managed to use a pocketknife to fight off a
      vicious attack by a cougar on a remote road on northern Vancouver Island.

      Attacked in the head, 62-year-old David Parker was able to pull out his
      small folding knife and kill the cat during the incident on Thursday
      evening. He then walked more than half a mile to get help from workers at a
      log-sorting facility.

      "The will to live was definitely in this person," said Corporal Jeff
      Flindall of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Port Alice, a small coastal
      logging community about 195 miles northwest of Vancouver.

      Police said Parker was walking alone down a private road in the woods
      outside Port Alice when the adult male cat weighing about 90 pounds attacked
      him from behind, injuring his head and face.

      The logging workers took Parker to Port Alice's medical clinic, but because
      of the extent of his injuries he was quickly transferred to a hospital in
      Victoria. He was listed in critical but stable condition after surgery on
      Friday.

      Vancouver Island is estimated to have between 1,000 and 1,200 cougars.
      Although it is rare for the carnivorous cats to hunt humans, there have been
      at least four attacks in recent years on the northern end of the island.

      An 8-year-old girl from Nevada received minor wounds in June when she was
      attacked in June while on a kayak trip, and in February 2001 a man was
      injured when a cougar pounced on him as he rode his bicycle into Port Alice.

      Wildlife officials advise people in the area they should always be aware of
      potential of cougars while in the woods. If confronted, you are warned never
      to attempt to flee because running away only provokes the cat's hunting
      instinct.

      "It's very seldom that person is a winner in a cougar attack. Usually it's
      the cougar, so its quite something for Dave to do something like this all by
      himself with a small knife," Port Alice mayor Larry Pepper, a long-time
      friend of Parker, told CBC Radio.

      Attacks on humans often involve cougars that are injured and unable to catch
      other prey such as deer. The cat involved in Thursday's attack was described
      by a conservation officer as thin, but "not starving."

      Pepper said the deer population in the area is lower than usual this year,
      and cougars will wander into the relatively isolated community looking for
      other prey.

      "When they come to town usually cats and dogs are the first choice, but
      eventually it will get to be a person if they (the cougars) hang around,"
      Pepper told CBC.

      Officials hope to give the dead cat's body a more complete examination in
      the next few days to see if it was suffering from any illnesses.
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