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HomeNewsCougar Attacks Washington Cyclist, Leaving One Woman Hospitalized

Cougar Attacks Washington Cyclist, Leaving One Woman Hospitalized

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Cougar Attacks Washington Cyclist, Leaving One Woman Hospitalized
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On February 17, five cyclists set out on a bike trail on a regular afternoon in Washington. Little did they know that this would be one of their life’s scariest experiences. While they were cycling and chatting, a cougar attacked the group. 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife received a report of a “human-cougar” incident later that day. According to the report, there were injuries on a trail northeast of Fall City, Washington, in King County. The agency announced this in a news release on Sunday morning.  

When their officials arrived on the day of the incident, they removed one “subadult cougar.” However, eyewitnesses indicated that there may be a second cougar. Therefore, the WDFW said in its news release that it enlisted the help of a houndsman on Saturday. 

Surprisingly, they did not find any second cougar near the scene. Instead, they found other cougars scattered in their usual habitat. There are at least 3,600 cougars in Washington, according to a report by the WDFW in 2022. 

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The incident occurred around 12:30 pm in the wilderness area. One of the cyclists, a 60-year-old woman, had some injuries which led to her hospitalization. Thankfully, she is not in critical condition, and experts expect her to recover well. 

“We are thankful that the victim is stable after the incident this weekend,” said Lieutenant Erik Olson. “The people on the 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.”

Therefore, the recent attack and their significant population have caused worry for some residents. Most people are asking, “Are cougar attacks common?” “What are the chances of getting attacked by a cougar on a random day?”

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The WDFW website answers these questions with facts. Cougar attacks are not common. In fact, they are “extremely rare.” In the past 100 years, there have been two fatal cougar attacks recorded. 

Approximately 20 other recorded incidents resulted in human injury. Therefore, they do not pose a significant threat to human life. However, some areas are more populated with cougars than most. 

Without a doubt, it is safer to avoid such areas. For those who are more likely to encounter one, there are safety measures one should take. If you come across a cougar in the wild, the first step is to not look like prey. 

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Bear and cougar specialist Richard A. Beausoleil gave this tip in a 2018 interview with WBUR. “You definitely want to show the animal that you are not prey. They are used to their prey running away,” he said. 

“And so the very first thing is to stop, stand tall, make some noise, throw something at the animal if you can, but do not run.” This will help intimidate the animal, and it will most likely back away. 

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