A man was attacked by a cougar north of Whistler today, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) reported.
On its Twitter page, the BC COS said the 69-year-old man was mauled by a cougar near his rural property in the Soo Valley at approximately 3:30 p.m. He sustained major injuries to his face and hand, and was taken to hospital, where he is reportedly in stable condition. (Friends of the victim later clarified his age as 64, not 69.)
The COS said the Whistler RCMP was the first to arrive on the scene and euthanized the animal.
In a release Tuesday, Jan. 26, the COS provided further information on the attack, noting the cougar was "a young, emaciated male" and that the attack was "predatory in nature." The agency emphasized that the man "took the right steps in the event of such an encounter and fought back against the cougar, which likely saved his life."
The COS' Predator Attack Team remains on the site of the attack to monitor the situation and ensure public safety.
The public is urged to be prepared in the event of a wildlife encounter. If confronted by a cougar, the COS advises to make yourself look as large as possible and to keep the animal in front of you at all times. "Never run or turn your back on a cougar, as the sudden movement may provoke an attack," the release went on. "If you are attacked, fight back."
For more information what to do if you run into a cougar, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/human-wildlife-conflict/staying-safe-around-wildlife/cougars.