A 60-year-old woman who was attacked by a cougar on a remote island off the west coast of Vancouver Island is recovering in hospital, after her partner fought off the animal with a spear.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was attacked from behind late Sunday afternoon near her home in Cow Bay on Flores Island, about 20 kilometres northwest of Tofino.

The cougar has since been found dead and appears to have died from stab wounds inflicted by the woman's common-law partner.

flores islandFlores Island, B.C.

Sgt. Ben York said conservation officers found the cougar's carcass Monday morning.

"They did a quick survey of the incident scene and located where the woman was attacked, and then when they started their more detailed survey, they found the cat dead in the bush, probably about 20 to 25 metres from the attack scene."

The woman was taken by coast guard boat to Tofino and then airlifted to hospital in Victoria. She was initially listed as being in critical condition but was upgraded to stable on Monday morning.

Conservation officers tried to track the cougar two months ago after the same woman had an encounter with the animal, but bad weather prevented the hounds from getting a scent.

York said the couple have lived in a cabin on Flores Island for decades.

A necropsy will be performed on the cougar to try to determine why it attacked the woman.