What could be more Canadian than having coffee at Tim Horton’s? Fighting a cougar in front of it to save his huskies, apparently.
A man from Red Deer, Alberta stepped up to the defense of his pet husky when he saw that a cougar had gripped the dog’s neck within its jaws. He threw his fists at the wild animal, injuring it and forcing it away long enough to save his dog.
“I wasn’t really analyzing it too much at the time,” Will Gibb told the CBC. “All that was going through my mind is that I had to protect my dog.”
Gibb, a 31-year-old technician, was meeting up with friends for coffee at the Whitecourt Tim Hortons a day after Christmas and had two of his huskies, Mongo and Sasha, with him. He’d let them go for a short run around the parking lot. A few seconds later, he heard the female, Sasha, cry out in distress. A cougar had emerged from the woods nearby to pounce on the dog.
Gibb described his actions thereafter as instinctual in his interview with the CBC.
“So I ran up, punched for what looked like the head,” he said. Gibb says after the cougar ran off, he chased after it briefly before returning to Sasha, who was in pain.
“I was swinging but I looked back and I saw that Sasha was on the ground kind of twitching,” Gibb said. “So I went back and tried to scoop her up with my left arm.”
The dog was in shock and bit at Gibb’s left hand, confusing him for the cougar. It was at this point that the cougar re-emerged from the woods. Sasha eventually let go of Gibb and ran off, but the cougar decided to go after the other dog, Mongo.
Gibb saw what the cougar was up to and put himself in-between the wild animal and the dog, scaring it away after he picked up a stick. As the wild animal disappeared into the bushes, the man managed to secure both his dogs in his truck and took the injured Sasha to a nearby vet.
Sasha was treated for multiple wounds—bites on its neck and claw marks on its belly. Likewise, Gibb had to be treated for claw wounds on his arms.
Whitecourt police, who consulted with fish and wildlife officials, have since tracked the aggressive cougar, and put it down.