One mountain biker was killed in an attack by a mountain lion outside of Snoqualmie, Washington on Saturday. His riding partner was also attacked but escaped with only injuries.
The two were riding on a remote dirt road around Lake Hancock, northeast of Snoqualmie, WA when a cougar began to chase them, according to the Seattle Times. At first, the two tried to intimidate the mountain lion. One of the riders picked their bike up and swung it around, which aligns with the Washingon Division of Fish and Wildlife’s, (WFWD) measures to stay safe around the cats.
But, it returned and attacked one of the riders, Isaac Sederbaum, 31, biting his head and shaking him.
According to the Seattle Times, the other rider, Sonja J. Brooks, 32, dropped
his her bike and ran from the attack, which may have elicited a chase response from the cougar. When Brooks ran, the cat left Sederbaum, chased Brooks and attacked him her.
Sederbaum picked himself up and saw the mountain lion dragging his friend into the woods. Sederbaum picked up his bike again and rode two miles before he had cell phone service and could make a 911 call.
When responders arrived, they found Brooks’ body near what appeared to be the cougar’s den. The cougar was on top of
him her. A deputy fired his weapon in the direction of the mountain lion and it fled.
Sederbaum was taken to the hospital. The Harborview Hospital in Seattle tweeted on Saturday evening that his condition was updated to satisfactory and that he would be admitted for more care.
“Normally we respond to a cougar attack on somebody’s livestock,” Captain Alan Myers of the WFWD told the New York Times. “People are not on the menu for cougars. They normally want nothing to do with us.”
The mountain lion was said to be about 100 pounds. The King County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Saturday afternoon that the WDFW killed the cougar that was believed to be involved in the attack.
In 2004 a mountain lion killed a mountain biker in Orange County, California. Mark Reynolds, 35, was found dead along a trail. According to the LA Times, Reynolds’ chain may have broken during his ride. When he kneeled down to examine the mechanical, it possibly provoked the cat to attack.
Authorities believe that attacks like this are rare.
Singletracks reached out to Washington Fish and Wildlife Department for comment and a press release, but they didn’t return requests before publishing. King County Sheriff’s Office did not have a press release for the incident.