Cougar Attack Leaves One Dead in WA


The mountain bikers were riding together down a remote, backwoods trail at 11am local time in an area near North Bend, Washington state, around 30 miles (48km) east of Seattle, when the they encountered the animal.

The first rider managed to get back on his bike and ride to an area where he received cellphone service and call authorities, according to Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO.

In the past 94 years, Washington state has recorded 18 non-fatal cougar attacks, with "40 percent considered serious enough to require at the least stitches", said the newspaper.

First responders from the fire and sheriff's departments found Brooks in the cougar's den, Abbott said.

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The Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a press conference this is only the second cougar attack death in Washington state in the last 100 years. Officials plan to test DNA from the cougar and the victim to make sure they caught the same animal that attacked the men. As wildlife officials approached them, the cougar ran from the scene, a King County Sheriff's Office spokesperson tells CBS News.

"The deputies shot at him and spooked him, and he ran off", CNBC reports Abbott saying.

There have been 15 verified mountain lion attacks in California since 1986, and of those, just three were fatal, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife data. "It'll be unbiased", said Rich Beausoleil, the state's bear and cougar specialist.

Gary Koehler, a former Fish and Wildlife research scientist for DFW, said cougars are typically wary of humans and Saturday's attack.

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Myers said a preliminary examination of the animal, which has been euthanized, revealed that the 3- to 4-year-old, 100-pound male cougar was slightly emaciated. The victim took off on his bike and as soon as he looked back, he saw the cougar dragging his friend into the woods, Abbott said. Initially, the cougar started to chase them down the road.

The 31-year-old man who survived the mauling is awake and alert, but is in satisfactory condition.

One person is dead and another has been injured in a cougar attack in Washington state. The cougar was on top of the body when officials first arrived. The paper said that the last fatality in Washington state was in 1924.

Cougars are also known as mountain lions, pumas and panthers. A necropsy will be performed to try to determine what provoked the attack, including any disease.

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