A seven-year-old boy is in serious condition after at least two cougars mauled him authorities say.
British Columbia Conservation officers say the child was mauled Friday afternoon while outside but nearby a home in the Lake Cowichan neighborhood.
Family members were inside the home at the time of the attack.
The child was mauled, suffering injuries to his head, neck, and arms.
Neighbors said they’re aware cougars are in the area, but encounters like this are shocking.
“It’s very horrible to hear that a child attacked like that. We hadn’t heard any warnings from our dogs in the past few days so it’s kind of a surprise.” Neighbor Jeff Bain said.
Authorities found two cougars still on the property and they were both euthanized.
“From the first look, they’re quite thin. They’re young cats, not looking like they’re doing very well,” said Sgt. Scott Norris with the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service. “Cats that are not very well-fed are the ones who are going to take chances and do things they shouldn’t necessarily be doing.”
Officers swept the area with their hounds in case there was a third animal, but no other cougars were detected.
Authorities are reminding residents to remain vigilant.