Pocketknife saves life ...
- 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
"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
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
"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
"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.