Cougar That Attacked Cyclist Was 75-pound Male; Carcass Sent To WSU Lab

Fellow cyclists are being credited with bravely fending off a cougar attack in the upper Snoqualmie Valley Saturday that could have been far worse for a 60-year-old woman who was taken to the hospital after suffering head, jaw and neck injuries.

“We are thankful that the victim is stable after the incident this weekend,” said WDFW Lieutenant Erik Olson in an updated statement from the agency this morning. “The people on scene took immediate action to render aid, and one of our officers was able to arrive within minutes to continue medical aid and coordinate transport. We may have had a very different outcome without their heroic efforts.”

Fellow game warden Sergeant Carlo Pace told Seattle TV station KOMO that the cougar “jumped from the side of the road and latched onto her, and her friends were able to detach and fight this thing off.”

“They 100 percent saved their friend’s life,” Pace also stated. “They were able to pin down a good size lion with its claws and teeth and everything else under a mountain bike until we arrived.”

Today’s updated statement also reports that the attacking cougar, which was shot by officers, was a 75-pound “young male,” the carcass of which will be sent to a lab at Washington State University for examination. More details about the animal’s age and body condition, along with testing for disease, will be released afterwards.

No photos of the cougar was available for release, a WDFW spokeswoman said late this morning.

According to WDFW, adult toms on average weigh around 140 pounds and stand 2.5 feet tall at the shoulder.

An “exhaustive search” by agency officers and hounds Saturday afternoon for a second cougar witnesses said they’d seen failed to find one, WDFW reported.

A map of the immediate vicinity wasn’t immediately available, though the locale has been described as a “trail northeast of Fall City.”

Cougar attacks are rare and state wildlife officials offer tips on what to do in case of an encounter, but this latest one also occurred not far from the fatal 2018 attack on another cyclist, SJ Brooks.

A postmortem report on the 3-year-old animal involved in that incident “revealed no abnormalities that might have contributed to the animal’s unusual behavior.” WDFW also described the cougar as “lean, but its weight and body condition fall within a normal range for a cougar of its age.”

In 2022, a 9-year-old girl was attacked by a cougar in Northeast Washington and survived serious injuries, while last July an 8-year-old boy suffered minor injuries after being attacked while camping in Olympic National Park.