Cougar Attack 4 Mountain on Washington Trail

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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Cougar Attack Injures Mountain Bikers on Washington Trail, Wildlife Officials Confirm

A group of five mountain bikers in Washington were attacked by at least one cougar on a trail last Saturday, resulting in one cyclist being injured, according to wildlife officials.

The bikers were able to subdue the cougar and contact emergency services before a wildlife officer arrived and euthanized the animal. Another cougar reportedly fled the scene, as stated by the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Source: Twitter/fox12oregon

When did the cougar attack occur?

The incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, according to wildlife officials.

The mountain bikers reported being followed and attacked while in the wilderness along Tokul Creek, approximately 5 miles north of Snoqualmie, as stated by the sheriff’s office.

"One of the bikers, reportedly a 60-year-old woman, sustained injuries from either claws or bites during the incident," the statement continued. "The injured woman was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening."

Response Efforts and Aftermath

Initially, it was reported that the cyclists used a bike to restrain the cougar, the sheriff’s office noted. Responding to their 911 call, KCSO deputies, wildlife agents, and medical personnel arrived at the scene.

According to Washington State Fish and Wildlife police spokesperson Becky Elder, an officer used a firearm to shoot the cougar.

"Fish and Wildlife personnel removed one subadult cougar from the scene; it is presumed to be older than six months, but an accurate age will be determined once tooth data is collected," Elder said.

Source: Twitter/Fox 10 Phoenix

A "hound handler" was called in to track a second cougar that witnesses claimed had retreated into the forest, the department stated in a news release. As of Saturday evening, the animal had not been located.

"The safety of the public is our top priority, and typically, during a human-wildlife incident, we euthanize the animal involved," Elder explained.

However, she mentioned that cougar attacks on humans are "extremely rare."

"In Washington state, there have been two fatal cougar attacks and about 20 other documented encounters resulting in human injury in the past 100 years," she added.

what to do if you are attacked?

  • Stop immediately, and pick up small children without delay. Avoid running, as sudden movements can provoke an attack. Keep in mind that a cougar's instinct is to chase at close range.
  • Face the cougar and speak firmly while slowly backing away. Always leave an escape route for the animal.
  • Try to make yourself appear larger than the cougar. Stand on a higher surface, like a rock or stump, and if you're wearing a jacket, hold it open to increase your size. If you're in a group, stand side by side to seem more intimidating.
  • Keep eye contact with the cougar and avoid turning your back or crouching down.
  • Never approach the cougar, especially if it's near its prey or with kittens, and avoid offering it any food.
  • If the cougar doesn't retreat, become more assertive by shouting, waving your arms, and throwing objects like water bottles or backpacks. The goal is to show the cougar that you're not prey but a potential threat.

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