by Greg Campbell | July 9, 2015 1:43 pm
As a general rule, one should not go around punching wildlife. However, when said wildlife attacks one’s family dog, all bets are off.
Shawn Hanson said his adrenaline kicked into full gear when he decided to go toe-to-toe with a wild cougar that captured his mini dachshund, Bailey, in order to save the dog’s life.
“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 of Victoria, British Columbia told ABC News. “It put her paw down and her mouth around her [Bailey’s] neck and started dragging her.
“She [Bailey] was making really loud yelping noises like I’d never heard before.”
Hanson, 38, said he was camping at Salmon Beach in Ucluelet, British Columbia with some friends and his dog for Fourth of July weekend, when the group decided to go fishing.
He said it was when he returned to the campsite that a female cougar emerged from the woods and grabbed 1-year-old Bailey — quickly pulling the dog into the bushes.
That’s when Hanson said he ran after the cougar in order to save Bailey’s life.
“I just kept pushing the bushes so I could see and dropped down into a muddy, dry creek,” he said. “I was able to spring out of the mud and was screaming at it the whole time.”
Without another thought, Hanson said he lunged at the animal, grabbing a handful of her skin.
“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,” he said. “My initial thought was that it would start swiping at me, but it sat there sort of dazed.
“I was just relieved at that point.”
Alone at this point with his injured pup, Hanson said he made his way back to the beach.
Worried that the cougar may return to the campsite, Hanson went to see if she had taken off, with his shotgun in hand for protection.
“It was still in the same location from when I punched it,” Hanson said. “It pounced forward to get a better look at me, so I shot a warning shot off to the side. I could’ve backed away, but it was ready to spring and was only 20 feet away.”
Feeling that he was in danger, Hanson said he made the decision to put the cougar down.
“I was thinking of the safety of myself, the other people, and the children that were around,” he said. “It is an unfortunate turn of events. They’re beautiful animals, but it turned out to be a cat that was brazen.”
Hanson said he immediately reported the incident to local police and then to the wildlife conservation.
So, on the bright side, Hanson will forever have a story to tell in bars about the time he punched a cougar.
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