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Cougars have frequently come into contact with humans in many areas of B.C. this summer. (CBC)

Conservation officers have tracked down and killed an old, emaciated cougar after the animal attacked a woman in her home in British Columbia's West Kootenay region.

The attack, which took place Saturday night, was extremely rare and was driven by the animal's desperation for food, said Sgt. Rob Hawton of the Trail, B.C., RCMP.

Hawton said the woman was sitting on her sofa and had some puppies in the house with her when the cougar walked through an open door and attacked.

 He said the woman and her dog fought the animal off, chasing it out of her house.

The animal was gone by the time police arrived, but Hawton says the woman suffered some minor injuries to her upper leg from the cougar's claws.

Hawton said conservation officers tracked down and killed the cougar Monday morning.