A Shetland pony is recovering after a cougar attack on McKirdy Road last week.

The 10-year-old pony belonging to the Rauter family was attacked in a barn where it overnights with a neighbour’s pony and two full-size horses.

8-year-old Charlotte Rauter went to the barn the next morning, as she always does, to check on her pony, Ranger.

“We saw a lot of scratches and bleeding and shaking,” she says. “It was kind of scary.”

Lotte Rauter says they keep the bigger horses in the barn to protect the ponies, and luckily it proved effective. Ranger survived, though not without injury. The cat scratched his bum and his front, and gouged him twice on his neck. Rauter says he lost a lot of blood. The veterinarian helped patch him up, and Rauter’s girls have been nursing him back to health. On Tuesday they can take out the drain on one wound, and in two weeks take out his stitches; then he will need rest. Their white horse also had scratches around her head from the encounter.

While recovering, Ranger has had a more welcome visitor. The neighbour’s pony that witnessed the attack escaped from his daytime enclosure.

“He came galloping into our driveway to be with Ranger,” Lotte says. “It was so cute. They needed each other again.”

The family didn’t see the cougar themselves but they reported the attack to the Prince George Conservation Office.