A 19-year-old Canadian teenager has saved her sister from a cougar and it was her scream that apparently scared the wild animal away.
The 90-pound female cougar attacked 16-year-old Mykaela Belter in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. When her sister Gabrielle saw Mykaela being attacked, she screamed in horror. Her screamed apparently baffled the wild cat which released Mykaela and left. Mykaela had to undergo medical treatment for the injuries she suffered.
Mykaela had bruises on her lower back and thigh. She had four stitches for her injuries. However, if her sister has not shouted to save her, she could have suffered far more severe wounds. "I gave her a thank you", Mykaela said. She is presently with her grandmother.
Mykaela recalled the incident that had left her injured. "It really didn't hurt very much. It felt like when a house cat claws you, but then I looked down and thought, 'oh wow, a cougar'", she said. Her father Gary who was not far away was much more terrified than his daughter. "The girls were just walking along together -- the cougar stuck its head out of the bush and then it lunged forward and grabbed Mykaela and started to pull her towards the bushes", he said.
The sister who is now considered to be responsible for saving Mykaela, however, said that she did not have much time to plan her moves. "It all happened so fast", Gabrielle said, "I panicked and grabbed her arm while screaming, because I did not know what else to do. My sister jerked back and then it just let go".
Resource Conservation Manager Dennis Madsen found the behaviour of the cougar "bizarre". According to him, such animals tend to be shy and avoid people. However, it was strange that the cougar attacked the teenager. After its first attack on Mykaela, it approached other people in the region later on. It did not seem to get intimidated by human population. Park authorities said that the animal did not look starved or distressed. Parks Canada later confirmed that the animal was located and destroyed as it became a threat.