Edmonton Man Punches Cougar to Protect Dog in Tim Hortons Parking Lot

A Canadian man got into a fistfight with a cougar attacking one of his dogs in a Tim Hortons parking lot on Dec. 26.

Will Gibb isn’t a wildlife expert, but he knows when he has to go to the mat for his dogs. Similar to a recent story out of Australia about a man who punched a kangaroo to rescue his dog, this time the attack animal was a North American cougar.

“I wasn’t really analyzing it too much at the time,” Gibb told the CBC of his Dec. 26 encounter. “All that was going through my mind is that I had to protect my dog.”

Gibb was meeting a friend at a Tim Hortons when he let his two dogs, Sasha and Mongo, out for a run in the parking lot. Almost immediately, a cougar descended from the woods surrounding the Tim Hortons (this is Canada, after all) and attacked the pair.

Gibb, 31, says he heard Sasha crying and rushed over to investigate. “I saw something wrapped around her so I ran up, punched for what looked like the head. At that point I realized it was a cougar.”

Things got worse from there: Gibb chased the cougar into the woods, and attempted to scoop up the injured Sasha, who bit him in distress. The cougar then re-emerged from the woods and mounted phase two of its attack. Gibb began punching at it, driving it away from Sasha and towards Mongo.

“I could see the cougar going for him, so I got between him and the cougar and started swinging and screaming at it, and called for my brother and friend to come give a hand,” Gibb said. “And then I reached down for the closest, biggest stick that I could find and I ran back into the trees to go fight the cougar.”

Sasha was immediately escorted to a local veterinary clinic, where she was treated for her wounds. Staff told the CBC she’d been released Wednesday. Gibb was clawed deeply on his arm, but is recovering. The cougar was located and killed shortly after the attack, allowing the patrons of that particular Tim Hortons to breathe easily again.

“I wouldn’t recommend everybody wrassle with a cougar,” Sgt. Jack Poitras told the CBC, “but in this case it worked for the best.”

Tim Hortons locations across Canada have proved time and again to be popular gathering spots for local fauna, including goats, llamas and moose.

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