A cougar
© Dreamstime
A cougar
A seven-year-old boy is in serious condition with injuries to his head, neck and arms after being mauled by at least two cougars near Lake Cowichan.

"At this point we believe there may be two or more cougars involved," conservation officer Ben York told CTV News Friday.

Land and air ambulance units were dispatched to the scene on Point Ideal Drive at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The child was flown to a Vancouver hospital in serious condition, according to the town's mayor.

"I was just talking to a young girl who was looking after him. He doesn't live in that area, I don't think, he was just visiting. And she was the one that told me his arms were chewed up and that he'd be ok," Mayor Rod Peters said.


Police and conservation officers also attended the scene.

Conservation officers found two cougars on the property, and shot and killed them.

"From the first look, they're quite thin. They're young cats, not looking like they're doing very well," explained Sgt. Scott Norris with BC Conservation Officer Service. "Cats that are not very well fed are usually the ones who are going to take chances and doing things they shouldn't necessarily be doing."

Sgt. Norris said the family and neighbours saw two cats, but they scoured the area with their hounds just in case there was a third. No other cougars were detected.

The RCMP asked people in the area to stay indoors, especially if they see police or conservation officers in the area.

"It's fairly serious," said RCMP Cpl. Chris Manseau. "It's not completely uncommon, but still very, very rare, just a dangerous situation for everyone."

A source told CTV News the boy is seven years old.

The family of the victim is asking for privacy.

Editor's note: A previous version said the boy is four years old. The story has since been updated to reflect his correct age.