Off-duty cop has harrowing encounter with cougar
CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:27AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 16, 2013 1:05PM PDT
An off-duty Mountie had the scare of a lifetime when a cougar relentlessly stalked him, his wife and their two dogs during a walk in Port McNeill, B.C., on Monday.
Carl McIntosh said he first noticed the big cat emerge out of a nearby bush beside Mine Road, which he and his wife walk along three times a week.
The cougar could’ve easily gone for the couple’s two small Chinese crested dogs, but McIntosh said its sights were locked on him and his wife.
“It would’ve been very easy for the cougar to snatch one of them off the leash,” he said. “But when he came out of the bush and he started his frontal assault, he looked at me, got in the low crouch, and then covered the distance very quickly.”
McIntosh said the cougar came within 12 feet before he discharged a canister of bear spray he carries in an attempt to fend it off.
It was the first time he had to use the spray, but it wasn’t enough to stop the cat’s advances.
“I spray 180 degrees, and we keep backing up, and now I’m empty,” he said. That’s when his wife handed him a loaded bear banger, a device that emits a loud sound to scare away wildlife.
He fired it at the cougar – but once again, the animal wasn’t deterred.
“It was still in the bush line trying to get in behind our retreating position,” he said.
The couple’s saving grace came in the form of a logging truck which approached the scene, scaring away the cougar.
It was McIntosh’s first sighting – and hopefully last – of the animal.
“When you hear of cougar sightings, generally people see cougars from some distance or from the safety of a vehicle,” he said
Conservation officers destroyed a cougar in the area Tuesday night, but it has not been confirmed if it was the same animal that stalked McIntosh.
With files from CTV Vancouver Island