Zach Bromley was in the backyard of his Lake Cowichan home when the juvenile cougar attacked.

“There’s a fence, which is kind of just a wire mesh fence, and he was looking through it and he thought this was just a dog approaching him, didn’t think anything of it, and then this thing charged him,” said Zach’s father Kevin A. Bromley of the attack that left his son in serious condition Friday.

“Before Zach could get, you know, more than four or five yards, this thing was on him,” Bromley said.

There were two cougars in the area, believed to have been separated from their mother. Both have since been killed by the BC Conservation Service.

The one attacking Zach Bromley did serious damage, but it could have been much worse if it weren’t for the thick hoodie that protected the boy’s neck, Kevin Bromley said.

“It put a real good gash in the crown of his head - about 4 cm is what the doctor said - but the rest of it was mostly just superficial because of the clothing,” he said.

The noise of the altercation got the attention of Zach’s mother, who initially thought it was the sound of kids fighting.

Once she saw what was actually happening, she raced to save her son.

“It had bit fully into his forearm, but Zach was kind of resisting, and she was trying to pry its mouth open and couldn’t get it open,” Kevin Bromley said.

The cat eventually gave up and backed off, he said. “She just feels that it was a miracle.”

Zach Bromley was taken to Duncan General Hospital, but because of the depth of the lacerations he suffered, he was transferred to Victoria General Hospital for treatment. He's since been released. 

Kevin Bromley said he is grateful to all of the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who have helped his son survive this ordeal.

“The staff at the hospital were just so empathetic and tender and professional and I was so impressed,” he said. “I was really touched.”