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Woman, dog attacked by cougar in Vancouver Island provincial park

A sign warning of a cougar in the area is seen in this undated stock image. (Shutterstock) A sign warning of a cougar in the area is seen in this undated stock image. (Shutterstock)
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A helicopter was sent to rescue hikers and their dogs after a cougar attack in a Vancouver Island provincial park over the weekend, according to officials.

On Saturday, two women were hiking with their off-leash dogs near Landslide Lake in a remote part of Strathcona Park when they encountered the cougar.

"A cougar attacked one of the dogs and bit one of the women. The hikers were able to use bear spray to cause the cougar to run away," a spokesperson for the B.C. Conservation Office said in an email, adding that the attack was determined to have been "defensive."

The woman was treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and the dog is expected to recover, the statement added.

The BC COS said there had been reports of cougar sightings and activity in the area prior to the attack, and that signs had been posted in response. Now, the Elk River Trail has been completely closed until further notice.

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