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Vancouver Island man saves daughter from backyard cougar attack

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A quick-acting Vancouver Island man saved his daughter earlier this week, after a cougar attacked the child in the family’s backyard.

Travis Nielson was hanging out with his wife and two daughters behind his home in the remote community of Tahsis, B.C. on Monday afternoon when a cougar suddenly jumped on his 2-year-old daughter, Bree.

“It came up behind her, jumped on her back, and had her head in its mouth,” Nielson told CBC News. “All I remember is seeing its eyes and not really comprehending what it was that grabbed her,” he said. “I grabbed her with one hand by the shirt and I struck [the cougar].”

“At first we thought it was a large dog,” Nielson’s wife, Andrea, told The Vancouver Sun.

After Nielson punched the wild cat and yelled at it to “get out of here,” it retreated and climbed into a nearby tree.

The young girl was taken to a local clinic and treated for minor injuries. She suffered puncture wounds to her face, back, and chest, but is in okay condition otherwise, according to reports. The entire family is understandably shaken, but happy that everyone is okay.

According to conservation officer Sgt. Ben York, the cougar was located at the scene and killed by officers. They will be searching the surrounding area with trained hounds to ensure there are no other cougars.