Boy survives vicious cougar attack; mom pries boy's arm from cougar's jaws

What to Do if You Encounter a Mountain Lion

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — A terrifying ordeal unfolded in the backyard of a British Columbia family’s home Friday in Lake Cowichan on Southern Vancouver Island when a young mountain lion attacked a 7-year-old boy.

Luckily, Zack Bromley's mother, Chelsea, heard a commotion and ran out to see what was happening, according to the CBC.

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That’s when Chelsea Bromley saw the attack happening by one of two cougars that had jumped over their fence. She immediately pounced on a young male cat, who had her son by the arm, and pried open its jaws to free her son.

"She jumped it," the boy's father, Kevin Bromley, told the CBC.

"I think any mom would do that. It's that selfless love," he said.

The boy suffered minor injuries to his head, neck and arm. He was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment and released Saturday, the network reported. Chelsea Bromley sustained minor injuries to her hand.

It’s not out of the ordinary to catch a glimpse of the big cats on the island, but the behavior of the animal that attacked the boy is unusual.

Authorities tracked down and killed both cats, according to The Cowichan Valley Citizen.

"The cougars were both very emaciated, very skinny and in poor overall condition, very light for their size, inspector Ben York told The Vancouver Courier.

“We don’t know what might have caused that,” but York said a necropsy is being conducted on the animals to find out if they were diseased or injured.

He told the newspaper the young cougars may have been orphaned and left to fend for themselves.

The animals are usually quiet and elusive and attacks on people are extremely rare, according to wildlife experts. The Colorado Division of Wildlife reports fewer than a dozen fatalities by mountain lions in North America in more than 100 years.