A Campbell River man has shared video showing a pair of cougars as they narrowly miss turning his dog into dinner.
Mike Germunstad was at a cabin in the woods just west of Campbell River on Thursday afternoon when he encountered the two cougars. He was cleaning up garbage that had been dumped near the cabin when he heard a sound in the bush.
“I thought I heard a vehicle approaching, so I took a break and I was just being quiet so I could hear if someone was coming, and then I thought I saw a dog coming past the cabin,” he said. “I just caught a glimpse of something.”
It was a cougar. And another one soon followed.
Video recorded by Germunstad shows the wild cats standing almost perfectly still near the deck of the cabin. They locked eyes on his dog Shorty, he said, and one of them lunged forward.
“Just as I reached down to grab him, the cougar bolted over towards me and tried to snatch Shorty,” he said.
In the video, Germunstad can be heard telling the dog, “Come here!” as the cougar approaches.
The camera becomes shaky and Germunstad is heard yelling, “Get outta here!”
Moments later the cougar is seen slinking away to join its friend, which is crouching near a tree.
Germunstad said he grabbed his dog, a 75-pound American bully, a type of pitbull, by the scruff of its neck and threw it inside the cabin of his ATV, while the cougar “slammed into my leg.”
He said the dog “has zero aggression” and wouldn’t have stood a chance against the two cougars.
“He loves all other dogs and animals – he likes cats,” Germunstad said. “He’s definitely not a fighter.”
In another clip, the dog is seen panting inside the off-road vehicle.
Germunstad said he pulled out a machete as he observed and filmed the cougars for a few minutes – they were blocking his exit – before starting the engine of the ATV.
This apparently caused the two cougars to saunter off into the woods.
Germunstad said he saw them again as he drove away before they disappeared into the bush.
It’s not the first time that Germunstad, a truck driver who recently founded a company called Throttle Therapy ATV Adventures, has encounter a big cat in the wild.
About 10 years ago, he saw a cougar on Ripple Rock Trail – just north of Campbell River – that had just killed a dog.
Germunstad said that he alerted conservation authorities about the latest cougar encounter, and he wishes the wild cats no harm.
”They’re beautiful animals,” he said, noting that he’s not a hunter. “I just enjoy shooting things with a camera.”
He added that people who frequent the cabin should stop dumping garbage in the woods.
“It’s not nice when you go to a beautiful spot and you find a huge mess everywhere,” he said.