Mother Stops Cougar Attack With Nothing But a Rag

Filed under: In The News

David Metzler Jr. was attacked by a cougar in Danskin British Columbia. Credit: David Metzler Sr.

Armed with nothing more than a scrub rag, a mother in British Columbia rescued her 7-year-old son from being mauled by a cougar outside their church.

David Metzler Jr. was pinned down in the snow by a cougar the morning of Dec. 31, the Globe and Mail reports. He was bleeding from his scalp and back when his mother Mary Metzler ran out of the Mennonite church in Danskin, British Columbia (a town of 2,000 about 400 miles from the southeast tip of Alaska). She brandished nothing but a rag.

"I saw this animal on top of my son with his mouth at his head," she tells the Globe and Mail. "I knew if I went back and took time to call for help, it would be too late."

She smacked the animal on the head with the rag. You might expect this to be little more than an annoyance for a 66-pound cougar. However, it contritely dropped the boy and fled.

"I just took it and hit him in the face," Metzler tells the paper.

Metzler took her three children to the church to tidy up that morning. The children -- ages 2, 5 and 7 -- played outside. The church volunteer tells the paper she went to the stockroom for cleaning supplies. She had just picked up a rag the size of face towel when she heard the children screaming.

"I've heard children scream before, but nothing like this," she tells the Globe and Mail. "I knew instantly. It was a petrified scream."

Metzler went to the window and saw David Jr. being mauled.

"I didn't recognize it as a cougar at first," she tells the paper. "I just knew it was an animal on top of my son."

The cougar had taken the boy to the ground about three yards outside the church door. Just as Metzler got within striking distance, the cougar raised its head.

"It looked at me, eye to eye," she tells the paper.

She got her son inside the building and raced outside for her other children, unaware there was probably a second cougar skulking nearby.

Metzler tells the Globe and Mail she thinks two of the children were sliding on a nearby hill when the youngest fell, and her brother ran to help her up. Then they saw the cougar and screamed.

"At first they froze," Metzler tells the paper. "Then Davey made a run for the door, and that's when the cougar got him."

The Globe and Mail reports the boy's wounds were minor, and he was back at school within days.

Conservation officers tracked down two female cougars and killed them.

This was the second cougar attack in British Columbia in recent days. On Jan. 2, 11-year-old Austin Forman tells the Globe and Mail his golden retriever saved him from getting mauled outside his home in Boston Bar in southern British Columbia.

Chad Gravelle of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shot and killed the cougar during its fight with the dog in the Formans' yard.

As for the incident in Danskin, the cougar that attacked his son should have known better, David Metzler Sr. tells the Globe and Mail. "It's a mother's instinct: 'Don't mess with my kids.' "

Related: Mom Fights Off Cougar, Saves Son's Life, Bite From a Wild or Domestic Animal

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.