5 bikers attacked by cougar in Washington; 60-year-old woman injured

Monday, February 19, 2024
5 bikers attacked by cougar in Washington; 60-year-old woman injured
5 bikers jumped into action near Tokul Creek and Snoqualmie, Washington over the weekend, when a cougar attacked them, injuring a woman.

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. -- A group of bikers was attacked by a cougar, and then managed to pin it down in Washington over the weekend.

News of a cougar attack has been startling to those hitting the trails there, KING reported.

"Definitely shocked, never heard of attack of cyclist, I thought they mostly attacked hikers in remote areas of the wilderness," cyclist Shalev Shahar said.

"It's pretty surprising because I don't worry about cougar attacks necessarily. They seem to be pretty rare," cyclist Tara Beitler said.

But early Saturday afternoon, a cougar attack on a group of five cyclists injured a 60-year-old woman. Her fellow bikers pinned down the cougar until a Washington Fish and Wildlife agent was able to get there.

"They did struggle with this animal; they did fight back, and if it wasn't for those people, the lady attacked would be in much worse shape," Sgt. Carlo Pace said.

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Agents did shoot and kill the cougar, which was a kitten, around 6 months old, according to the Fish and Wildlife statewide cougar specialist.

"It's likely the younger ones that cause the most trouble because they are still figuring things out and still figuring out how to take down prey and what's good," Pace said.

The group was in a wilderness area along Tokul Creek, 5 miles north of Snoqualmie, Washington. A second cougar was spotted by one of the cyclists, which took off.

While it didn't attack anyone, Fish and Wildlife searched for the animal using hounds to track it. But, by nightfall, they had to stop the search.

"Where this happened was close to a creek, which is their natural place to follow because that's where prey is. These bicyclists just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They don't look for people; they stay away from people 99% of the time," Pace said.

WDFW said cougar attacks are rare in the state. In the last 100 years, there have been two deadly attacks and 20 that left someone hurt. Pace offered advice on what to do if you encounter a cougar.

"Don't act like a prey; make noise. Act big; don't run. Don't approach them," he said.

Those biking the trails are now keeping an extra eye out.