A 38-year-old Vancouver Island man says he feared for his life as he ran from an attacking cougar and scaled a piece of construction equipment in a desperate bid to escape.
With his pants shredded by the cougar’s jaws and a shoe lost along the way in a swipe from the animal’s claws, John Frank Jr. said he climbed a locked-up excavator’s boom and called for help on his radio.
The community of Ahousat, B.C., located north of Tofino, B.C., on the island’s west coast, responded to Tuesday’s attack, with some residents arriving on scene in their trucks, scaring the cougar away.
“The cougar wanted to eat me as a meal. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m lucky to be alive today. God was on my side that day,” Frank said.
The incident, the latest cougar attack to hit the province, took place at about 5:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday in an area where Frank had been working.
Frank said he had left his VHF radio — an important means of communication in the community — on the excavator at his job site, so he returned to pick it up.
After parking his vehicle, he walked to the excavator, picked up the radio and turned back, walking a few metres.