On the North Island, a Tahsis man, Travis Nielsen, jumped into action to save his two year old daughter Bree after a cougar ventured into their backyard and jumped the child from behind.

The father punched the big cat and at one point the cougar had the child’s head in it’s mouth.

Nielsen shouted at the animal, and the cougar took off, the toddler suffered only minor injuries and was treated at a local clinic and released.

Conservation Officer Sergeant Ben York says officials believe they have killed the cougar responsible for the attack.

Officers say they are fairly confident that the destroyed cougar was the offending animal, but further forensic testing is required for greater certainty. The animal will undergo a necropsy by the provincial wildlife veterinarian in the next few days.