Cyclists, hikers on high alert after cougar attacks woman on trail near Fall City

Cyclists, hikers on high alert after cougar attacks woman on trail near Fall City


Cyclists and hikers are on alert days after a cougar attacked a woman on a trail near Fall City. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) suspended the search for a second cougar reportedly prowling the area.

The injured woman had injuries to her face, neck and jaw. She was released from the hospital and is expected to be okay, according to WDFW officials.

“We spend some time in the area and talk to people about safety,” WDFW Sgt. Carlos Pace told KOMO News.

Pace was on the trails Monday in the foothills of the Cascades. He’s educating people about the dangers of wildlife following the cougar attack on a 60-year-old bicyclist. He explains one group’s actions to hold down the cougar with a bike may have saved the woman’s life.

RELATED | ‘100% saved their friend’s life’: Cyclists bravely defend against cougar attack on trail

“[I’m] surprised the animal didn’t do any more damage to this poor lady,” Pace said.

It was on Tokul Creek Trail that officers arrived, then shot and killed the 6-month-old cougar.

Pace said officers got a tip there was another young cougar spotted earlier in the day alongside the one that became violent. Police sent out a search hound but didn’t find anything, and assume it is long gone.

“I’m a little bit spooked,” stated Jacqueline Lee of Redmond.

“Surprised but, you know, these things have happened,” added Albert Sidelnik of Woodinville.

People who came to the trails for the holiday add that they are not letting the horrific weekend incident stop them from recreating.

“I guess we can’t be afraid all the time or we won’t be able to go anywhere,” Lee said.

“I wouldn’t let it prevent you from getting outside,” Sidelnik said.

Police report that they now know the second cougar was not involved in the attack.

Pace said that there are thousands of cougars across the state, and his department gets daily calls for sightings, but people should feel safe. He adds that if you see one you should get big and never run away. See more helpful tips here.

“They’re all around us and 99% of the time they mind their own business,” Pace said.


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