'I was yelling 'Mommy! Mommy!' really loud': Boy mauled by cougar recounts harrowing attack
A seven-year-old boy who was mauled by a cougar near his lakeside Vancouver Island home is speaking about the harrowing ordeal for the first time.
Zach Bromley tells CTV News he hasn't been back into his yard to play since the March 29 attack put him in hospital with serious injuries.
Today he's back home in Lake Cowichan and back in school, though he still bears the scars from the encounter on his head, neck and arms.
"I was sitting right there in my fort that I made and then the cougar was like right at the fence already and then started to go closer and opened its mouth at me and I started to run," Zach told CTV News Thursday.
"It got his neck stuck in the fence so it gave me a chance to get close enough to the house that my mom could hear me and then it got unstuck, jumped over it and it ran and got my back."
Hearing his screams from inside the house, Zach's mother Chelsea Lockhart ran outside.
"I was kinda tucked up like an egg and I was yelling 'Mommy! Mommy!' really loud – as loud as I could yell."
The attack lasted about 30 to 40 seconds, Zach said.
"Its back feet were still on the ground but it kinda like jumped up and got his hands got me," he said. "It had so much pressure on me that I fell and then it attacked me."
The big cat's mouth was closed around Zach's head and neck, which were lightly protected by the hood on the boy's sweatshirt.
Lockhart tried to fight off the cougar, prying its jaws from her son before it could drag him away.
"After she pried the mouth open she smacked it and it kinda ran away," Zach said.
Two cougars were spotted in the area shortly after the attack. Both were shot and killed by conservation officers.
Despite the frightening encounter, Zach's opinion of the wild cats isn’t all bad.
"I think they're very dangerous – but kind of cool at the same time."