A mother bravely fought with a mountain lion in her back garden to save her seven-year-old son who was being pinned down by the cat. Her deeds are being seen as a miracle in the local church, the Lake Cowichan Christian Fellowship Church, Vancouver Island. She told parishioners that as soon as she saw what was going on she became incredibly focused in order to save her son.
The mountain lion was young and perhaps inexperienced. He or she was probably hungry. When mountain lions attack people, which is extremely rarely, they usually attack children. The boy, Zack, was wearing loose clothing. The cat grappled with the clothing but did clamp down with his jaws onto Zack’s arm. Also, according to his father, Kevin, the cat put a nasty gash into Zack’s head.
All in all, however, Zack suffered relatively minor injuries to his head, neck and arm. His mother, Chelsea Bromley, also suffered minor injuries.
With regret, conservation officers tracked down the cats not long afterwards and shot them both. They said that they weren’t sure which one of them had attacked the boy. They said that their stomachs were pretty empty which is the reason why I have said earlier that they may have been hungry. They sort of justified killing both of them by saying that one would follow the other .
I think you have to look at the wider issue with this story. In terms of news media these stories are interesting because a brave mother saved her son by wrestling with a mountain lion, a big cat that can kill people et cetera. But when you look at the hard facts, young mountain lions are really not that big. The mountain lion has a character which is quite retiring and almost like a domestic cat’s character. The domestic dog is far more dangerous than the mountain lion in America.
As can be seen, the boy was not seriously hurt thankfully. Okay, his mother stepped in which was brave of her but if a tiger had attacked the boy the mother would not have come away with the same result. I believe that the puma is vilified by people who don’t really understand the character of this animal.
Also, we need to ask why this cat was in somebody’s back garden. Often times new settlements – being built in America in an extended way because of the available space – encroach upon the habitat of wild species including mountain lions. Therefore these large cats end up in urban environments or on the fringes of urban environments where they encounter people. If you wanted to be a little bit harsh towards people you could say that this attack is the fault of urban planning, local government and human population growth or immigration.
The mountain lion cannot be blamed. They act instinctively. And yet they are punished by their death. It’s as if they are being blamed. Is this fair? Can we do more in terms of conservation? Why were these two cats killed? Couldn’t they have been tranquillised and relocated? I think the conservation officers overreacted. I would like to see a better response in future. They didn’t deserve to die.
Source: primarily hardcopy The Times.