In a 30-year period, there have been only three known cougar attacks in BBNP. Two involved children.
In the first event, in the 1980s, a young male cougar attacked a boy of about six or so years of age who was in front of his brother and his parents. Severe head wounds. The brother, age 10, had lesser wounds in his attempt at rescue. The father beat the lion off the attack, with a tree branch. The event occurred near where the cougar had a deer's carcass stashed.
The next event, IIRC some eight-ish years later, had a cougar advance upon a mother and the three children who were immediately with her and who gathered behind her. She did the stand-tall thing and yelled. She received a fairly deep claw-scratch on a hand. The cougar left.
Young children are the correct size to be attractive to a cougar, particularly in park areas where they have no fear of people.
Same as most self-defense deals: "The odds are low, but the stakes are high."
FWIW about cougar strength: A buddy of mine killed an 86-pound female cougar. It had killed a 500-pound cow elk--and then dragged it 30 yards to some brush. This was on the Clinton Manges ranch near Freer.
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