Elsie H. McEvoy rescued Brian R. Kilbreath from an attack by a cougar, Hinton, Alberta, March 16, 1962. While Brian, 6, was playing in a sparsely wooded area, a young cougar leaped onto him and knocked him to a supine position on the ground. As the animal began biting Brian’s neck, two other small boys ran to the nearest dwelling and reported the situation to Mrs. McEvoy, 28, homemaker. Although subject to spells of weakness since recent surgery, Mrs. McEvoy, who was of slight build, ran to the wooded area and picked up a dead branch about five feet long. She was badly winded from running. Seeing Brian being mauled by the cougar, which lay on top of him, Mrs. McEvoy realized that the animal was hungry and therefore particularly dangerous and possibly rabid. With the branch, Mrs. McEvoy struck the cougar on the head about five times. The animal turned its head toward her and growled menacingly. Mrs. McEvoy struck the cougar five more times, and by then the branch had broken off until it was 15 inches long. Stooping, Mrs. McEvoy took hold of the back of the cougar’s head and jerked it upward. She then struck a sharp blow to the animal’s nose with the branch. The cougar rose but, as Mrs. McEvoy pushed it, fell alongside Brian. Lifting Brian into her arms, Mrs. McEvoy ran eight feet and then stumbled and fell to her knees. As she got to her feet, she glanced backward and saw that the cougar had risen onto its forepaws. Mrs. McEvoy continued running with Brian and was met by neighbors armed with rifles. Some of them took Brian to a hospital, while others were led by Mrs. McEvoy to where she had found Brian. The cougar, its skull fractured by the blows struck by Mrs. McEvoy, was discovered nearby and shot. Brian, who required nearly 150 sutures for wounds mainly about his face and neck, had narrowly escaped death from severe blood loss but recovered.
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