Canada rugby sevens captain Olivia Apps back training after cougar bite

LANGFORD, B.C. — Canada rugby sevens captain Olivia Apps is back with the team after being treated for a cougar bite in a B.C. provincial park.

Rugby Canada confirmed the attack and said the 25-year-old from Lindsay, Ont., "was treated in hospital shortly after for a minor injury and was able to return to training with the national team immediately following the incident."

it did not provide further details.

The Victoria Times-Colonist reported that Apps was bitten last weekend while hiking with another person on Elk River Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. One of their two dogs was also attacked by the cougar which ran off when bear-sprayed.

The women and their dogs were taken out of the park by helicopter, the Times-Colonist said. The dog will also recover.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service concluded its investigation, determining that the incident was a defensive attack and no further action will be taken. British Columbia's Environment Ministry confirmed that signage indicating cougar sightings and activity had been posted in the area prior to the attack.

Elk River Trail has since been closed to the public, and B.C. Parks has installed additional signage.

Apps, who also plays scrum half for the Canadian 15s side, is back training with the sevens team at its home base of Langford, B.C., ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Strathcona Provincial Park is the oldest park in British Columbia. Located almost in the centre of Vancouver Island, it is described as a "rugged mountain wilderness comprising of more than 250,000 hectares."


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2024.

The Canadian Press