VANCOUVER (WTNH)– A Vancouver man is telling his story after fighting a wild cougar with his bare hands to save his little dog, who was snatched from their campsite.
According to ABC News, 38-year-old Shawn Hanson said it was adrenaline that led him to grab a cougar then punch it in the face when it had his Mini Dachshund, Bailey, in its mouth.
Hanson says before the attack he was at the beach with friends and when he returned to camp, he saw the cougar come out of the woods.
“I see something out of the corner of my eye and a cougar jumped out about 10 to 15 away and just snatched the dog,” Hanson told ABC News. “It put her paw down and her mouth around her [Bailey’s] neck and started dragging her.”
Hanson chased after the cougar into a muddy creek, screaming at it, before he was able to lunge and grab a handful of the cougar’s skin.
He told ABC News,”I was able to cock back and punch the cougar in the face and it kind of went cross-eyed and just dropped the dog. My initial thought was that it would start swiping at me, but it sat there sort of dazed.”
Later Hanson returned to the spot of the fight with a shotgun to see if the cougar had left the area. It was still there and Hanson said “ready to spring.” He then decided to put the animal down.
“I was thinking of the safety of myself, the other people, and the children that were around. It is an unfortunate turn of events. They’re beautiful animals, but it turned out to be a cat that was brazen,” Hanson told ABC News.
Bailey is now recovering from severe puncture wounds and injuries to a gland in her neck
Hanson reported the incident to police and wildlife conservation who believe the account is “legitimate.” They added that they do not recommend anyone fight off an animal with their hands.