A Canadian man risked life and limb recently after he fought off a cougar to save his girlfriend's dog.
Elvis Xerri sprang into action last Monday after he awoke to the sounds of his girlfriend's dog being attacked by a cougar.
He and his girlfriend, Jacqui, had been fast asleep in his Calgary home when he heard the dog, Boomer, yelping outside.
Boomer is a 9-year-old Bernese mountain dog and had been sleeping under their bedroom window.
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Xerri then ran outside in just his underwear and discovered the dog being attacked by a cougar.
"I was thinking it was a coyote attacking him," Xerri said. "But it was the largest cougar I've ever seen, on top of the dog."
He estimated the mountain lion to be about 5 feet long.
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Xerri then began to jump on the animal and grabbed it before throwing it off his dog.
"I threw it about 5 or 6 feet," Xerri said.
The cougar began to bite the dog's head in an attempt to drag it away. However, Xerri was able to scare it off and send it running away into the woods.
Both Boomer and Xerri escaped the incident with only minor injuries.
"We took him to the hospital and he just had some teeth marks on his skull form where the cougar was trying to drag him," said Xerri.
No one else was harmed in the incident including Jacqui and the couple's two children who were listening to the incident as it occurred.
"He's alive," Xerri continued. "I was worried about Jacqui. She's not used to the country, and if she lost her dog that way, it would be really traumatic."
For now, Xerri will be wary of cougar attacks in the future. He told reporters that he suspected earlier that there was an animal stalking his grounds as his golden retriever had been barking all afternoon, according to the Calgary Herald.
He fears for the safety of his children due to the proximity of the animals.
"I've seen them at the end of my driveway where my kids get picked up for the school bus," Xerri said.
Wildlife officials have reported a rise in conflicts involving cougars and people throughout Alberta.
Despite the harrowing incident, Xerri says that he is glad he did it.
"It scared the crap out of me," he said. "I can't believe I did that. Would I do it again? For sure, because I wouldn't want to be a bystander. Was it smart? Probably not the smartest thing I've done."
According to mountainlion.org, in the event of a cougar threat one should maintain eye contact and attempt to look bigger by spreading your arms. If one is attacked, it is advisable to fight back.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Elvis Xerri/For The Calgary Herald