A B.C. woman is in critical condition in hospital after being attacked by a cougar on a remote island off the coast of Vancouver Island.
The 60-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, was attacked from behind late yesterday afternoon near her home in Cow Bay on Flores Island, about 20 kilometres northwest of Tofino.
“Apparently, it’s a cougar that was known about,” said Capt. Ray Jacobson with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria.
“They’ve seen it for about a month now, they’ve had run-ins with it. When she was attacked, her husband apparently was able to basically fend the cougar off. The cougar was injured. The last we know about the cougar is it departed into the bush.”
Officials say the woman's husband fought off the cougar with a spear.
The woman was taken by coast guard boat to Tofino and then airlifted to hospital in Victoria.
Conservation officers tried to track the cougar two months ago after the same woman had an encounter with the animal but bad weather prevented the hounds from getting a scent.
In light of this latest attack, another attempt to track down the cougar is now underway.
"We have dispatched a specially trained predator attack response team of conservation officers, and an experienced cougar hunter with tracking hounds," said Sgt. Ben York with the B.C. Conservation Service.