Schoolboy, 8, is lucky to be alive after being mauled by cougar in terrifying attack

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A schoolboy who was almost mauled to death in a terrifying cougar attack was left needing 200 staples to stitch his scalp and neck back together.

Eight-year-old Cason Feuser was playing by the Bishop River near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada, when the giant cat attacked him from behind.

He was one of six children under the supervision of a close family friend who had taken him, his two sisters, her own son and two nieces camping for the long weekend.

The vicious animal was so large compared to Cason that when it bit down on his skull, the boy’s whole head was almost in the beast’s mouth – who then shook him in an attempt to break his neck.

It is believed Cason had only survived because of the family’s quick-thinking friend Alishea Morrison, 40, who grabbed a large rock and dropped it on the cougar’s head.

The animal was startled enough to let go of the boy and flee.

Cason’s parents were an eight-hour drive away in Dawson Creek where his dad was working, when they got the devastating call that he had been attacked by a big cat.

Parents Chay and Corey Feuser, both 37, jumped on a plane to get to their son who was airlifted to hospital for emergency life-saving surgery.

Despite suffering a broken jaw and severe puncture wounds on his head, face and neck, Chay says Cason made a ‘miraculous’ recovery since the attack in July.

The mum-of-three has now shared horrifying photos of her son’s injuries to warn other campers to be wary and alert of large wildlife.

Alishea, who is a nurse, said: “I was sitting around in the morning watching the kids playing at the river trying to collect frogs when my son Morgan – a friend of Cason – turned around to ask Cason how he was doing and started to scream.

“Then Cason’s sister Addisyn looked back and screamed ‘cougar’ and that’s when I jumped up and came around behind Cason and the cougar and I saw Cason within the cougar’s jaws.

“The cougar tried to pull him up towards the camp site as all the kids were running towards the trailer.

“I looked at the cougar and reacted how any mum would and I grabbed a rock and hit the cougar in the head – it took off towards the camper and then my dog Jersey chased it away from the kids.

“I picked Cason up and ran with him into the trailer, wrapped his head and neck with a towel and had to have my niece help hold pressure for a couple of seconds while I was trying to get my cell phone out where I could get service.

“The ambulance came 26 minutes after I called 911 and the whole time I was very fearful that Cason was going to die from his injuries as they were quite significant.”

Alishea had taken a photo of her coffee and the idyllic riverside scene where the children were playing just minutes before the cougar attacked Cason and she jumped into action to save him.

Mum Chay, from Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada, said: “I think in that moment if she didn’t have the dogs with her, the cougar would’ve attacked her.

“But the dogs realised what was going on and they shot out after it and chased it off into the woods.

“She saw the cougar jolt Cason to try and break his neck so she was sure if she had been a second longer the cougar would’ve been on its way into the woods with him.

“Then she scooped Cason up and started running back to the trailer. She went into survival mode to stop the bleeding and call 911.

“She said there was a moment where she thought he was going to die in her arms because there was so much blood loss.”

The schoolboy was airlifted to Stollery Children’s Hospital, in Edmonton, Alberta, where he underwent a three-hour operation to close the wounds on his head and neck.

Meanwhile his parents took an emergency one-hour flight and made it to the hospital just in time to see him before surgery.

Doctors informed the parents that it was a ‘miracle’ Cason survived the attack as the cougar’s bite missed his airway and the major artery in his neck by millimetres.

He then spent just two nights in hospital before being sent home to continue his recovery away from the increased risk of infection.

Chay said: “I was up in Dawson and my friend was calling me so I answered and she just said ‘Cason got attacked by a cougar and you need to get here now’.

“She’s the one who I call when things aren’t okay because she’s a nurse and just knows what to do in those situations and to hear her not okay just instantly sent me into a panic.

“We literally left everything and went to Dawson airport where the plane met us and flew us to Edmonton.

“I was lucky I had phone service and a doctor keeping in contact with me and giving me a play by play of the testing they were doing.

“He just kept saying it was a miracle – his airway was missed by one millimetre, his jugular [vein] got missed and his skull wasn’t cracked.

“That kept me from absolutely losing my mind knowing that they were doing all these tests and they were coming back good.

“They had him all prepped for surgery and I was just praying I could get there in time to say goodbye before he went into surgery.

“Finally we got there and we did make it to see him before he got whisked off into surgery for three and a half hours.

“When I saw him he wasn’t in great shape but he was alert and he was all wrapped and bandaged up with a gauze from his head to his chin.

“He said ‘can you show me a picture of what got me?’ and I looked at the nurse and she said ‘I have my phone on me, we can show him’.

“She googled a picture of a cougar and showed him and he was like ‘I thought it was the dog’ because he just remembered a big white paw and my friend has a big white dog.”

Cason is continuing to heal well from the attack with the help of massage and silicone wrap treatments on his scars, the worst of which goes from ear to ear under his chin.

Chay now hopes to warn other campers to be extra aware of their surroundings and have a plan of action ready in case they encounter a cougar.

Chay said: “Cason is wonderful, he’s healing fine and he’s mentally fine, everything is such a miracle with him.

“Everyone’s aware of cougars but in busy areas like that where there’s not a lot of big trees Alishea thought she was safe.

“If she would’ve been any further away it would’ve been a different story. She had a gun in the trailer but there was no time.

“Anyone camping in the wild needs to be ultra aware and stay close to those kiddos.”

It is believed that the cougar was subsequently tracked down and euthanised not far from where the attack took place.