Cason Feuser is suffering from nightmares and going through intense surgeries following a cougar attack on Sunday morning that his mother says nearly took his life.
Chay Feuser, Cason’s mom, says her kids went camping with their neighbour and her children on the weekend in the Rocky Mountain House area.
The six kids were playing by the river when Chay says out of nowhere, a cougar started attacking Cason.
“The kids turned around and just started screaming and running to [our neighbour], yelling, ‘Cougar, cougar, cougar!'” she told CBC News.
Chay said the neighbour grabbed a rock and threw it at the cougar. It hit the cougar in the head and released “Cason from its death grip,” she said.
Cason was transported by STARS air ambulance to the University of Alberta hospital in stable condition.
There, he underwent three and a half hours of surgery, according to Chay.
“He has about 200-plus staples and surgical clamps just over his skull, and many more fine stitches over his face, neck, and throat. He just got his draining tube out of his neck. He’s on morphine. Tylenol and Advil are not enough to cut the pain,” Chay said.
The cougar missed Cason’s jugular vein by millimetres, Chay said. Since the animal was smaller, it didn’t manage to puncture the boy’s skull.
Later that same day, Alberta Fish and Wildlife found and euthanized the cougar just 150 metres from where the attack took place.
Rob Kohut, with Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Services, said although cougar attacks are rare, it is important to be cautious when outdoors.
“If you see a cougar in the distance, do not run or turn your back,” he said in an emailed statement.
“If a cougar is hissing and snarling or staring intently and tracking your movements, do not run, and do not play dead. Make yourself look big and speak loudly. If the cougar makes contact, fight back and don’t give up. Use all means at your disposal.”
Despite his severe injuries, Chay says Cason was more worried about whether the other kids were attacked and if they were safe.
“He has been crying a lot and making sure that all the other people that were there with him were okay. He kept asking about his sister, and if the cougar just got him and if they were okay.”