British Columbia

'When I got to the hospital, I just bawled': Dad recalls seeing son, 7, for first time after cougar mauling

It was every parent’s nightmare. Zack Bromley, 7, was playing in the backyard of his Lake Cowichan home when a cougar attacked him.

Boy's mother had to pry the cougar's jaw open

When Zack was mauled by a cougar, his mother, Chelsea, had to pry the animal's jaw open to release her son's arm. (Chelsea Bromley)

It was every parent's nightmare.

Zack Bromley, 7, was playing in the backyard of his Lake Cowichan home when a cougar attacked him.

His mother, Chelsea, hearing the backyard fence banging, ran outside. She found a juvenile cougar latched onto her son's arm.

"She jumped it," said Kevin Bromley, Zack's father, adding that she began to pry the cougar's jaw open.

"I think any mom would do that. It's that selfless love."

Zack's mother, Chelsea, jumped the cougar and physically pried its jaws open to get her son released.

Recovering in his favourite place

Zack, who was airlifted to hospital, is now recovering at his favourite spot: Nan's house. He suffered wounds to his head, neck and arm and was released from the hospital Saturday.

Although Zack is young, Bromley says the experience isn't lost on him.

"He's figured out that was pretty close to near death," said Bromley. "He's old enough to grasp that. And that's a big pill to swallow, just to digest that mentally."

Thankfully, Zack will recover, but Bromley still remembers the experience.

"When I got there I just bawled because he was just covered in blood." 

Chelsea also received wounds to her arms.

Zack Bromley was playing in his backyard when a young cougar attacked him. (Chelsea Bromley)

'This is a very tight-knit community'

Bromley says he has received an outpouring of support from the community since the attack. At the local pub, they've collected $300 in donations.

"That's the community. This is a very tight-knit community," said Bromley.

He says they're thinking of spending it on a dog to ward off any unwelcome visitors in the future.

With files from Chek News

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