Forum Index > Trail Talk > Cougar attack in mountain biking area north of the City of Snoqualmie 2-17-24
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Now I Fly
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PostSat Feb 17, 2024 7:26 pm 
Damian, zimmertr  Snowdog, Comma  KascadeFlat
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zimmertr
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PostSat Feb 17, 2024 10:24 pm 
Quote:
Deputy Mike Mellis said the group was able to pin the cougar beneath a bicycle until authorities arrived.
eek.gif

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thunderhead
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PostSat Feb 17, 2024 11:55 pm 
Yikes. Glad they fought it and won. Was this on the public SVT bit or inside the semi-private campbell/Snoqualmie forest? Not that it really matters since a cat could go back and forth in no time. That fatal cougar attack from a few years back was in this same general area I think.

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Exmoor
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 12:18 am 
It's interesting to me that the last two Cougar attacks I'm aware of in Washington have been on bikers. I wonder if there's something about people on bikes that triggers attacks? As someone who has encountered Cougars while on a bike in similar habitat it gives me pause...

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solohiker
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 1:04 am 
I was wondering the same thing. Cougars are lurkers and have probably observed more of us while hiking than we will ever know. Someone once asked me if I’d ever seen a cougar in the wild. When I replied that I’d seen bears, mountain goats, fox and elk but never a cougar their response was “well given how often you’re on a trail you can be sure more than one has seen you.” Can’t help but wonder if there’s something about the motion of a bike that triggers the attack mode in a cougar while they are fine to leave a hiker alone.

I have never been lost, but I'll admit to being confused for several weeks. - Daniel Boone
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 9:47 am 
It’s pretty clear cougars are ambush hunters and their main prey is deer, elk and moose are two big and tall. If you have ever biked in the woods where there are deer they will run in front of you for quite large distances. To a cougar a bike and rider are similar the move about the same speed and present a similar profile. This triggers heir hunting response. In contrast hikers have a higher profile and lower speed and often are in groups making a more difficult target. In California most human attacks I am aware of are against bikers and solo hiker especially kneeling or bending over. Usual advice is to stop and be aggressive using the bike as a shield and never speed away with your back to them.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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RichP
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 9:48 am 
It could be the idea of pursuit. Running or trying to escape may trigger the hunt instinct. I bike in that general area fairly often and am usually on high alert considering the fatal attack a few years back. So much for the idea of safety in a group as well.

ChinookPass, Malachai Constant
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thunderhead
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 10:03 am 
Bikers are also moving faster and covering more terrain over the same time. Being an ambush predator, a bike would simply more likely to find a cats ambush zone. That could be part of it too.

Joseph
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Brucester
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 11:05 am 
Another reason to ride with your head on a swivel! Keep your head- defend yourself with loud voice, rocks, go animal and survive! Air horns or bear spray proven effective for big cats? Byrna- non lethal hand gun giving you 15-25 minutes to ride like heck? No weapons in permitted areas? Baseball sized rocks!

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flatsqwerl
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 4:53 pm 
Are big cats smart enough to see that your hands are busy and your back is exposed?: no pack on your back usually for bikers...at least not like a backpackers load....

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texasbb
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 5:17 pm 
I think it's fairly well known that speed--i.e., "running away"--can trigger a cat's predatory instinct. You can see it in your house cat when you tease it with something on the end of a string. Felix will crouch and watch, sometimes for a while, but the instant you pull the plaything so it runs away, he will strike. It's the now-or-never trigger.

Cyclopath
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RumiDude
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 6:48 pm 
zimmertr wrote:
Quote:
Deputy Mike Mellis said the group was able to pin the cougar beneath a bicycle until authorities arrived.
eek.gif
I am sure I read in one report that the estimated age of the one they pinned down, and was euthanized by the authorities, was six months old. It was only a kitten. No estimate on the age of the other one that got away. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 7:12 pm 
I don't agree with killing animals that are just doing what they do in THEIR territory that WE are infringing upon. down.gif

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

Gwen, Anne Elk, Roly Poly, IanB, rubywrangler, Comma, NightOwl, snowmonkey, Shred, RumiDude
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Alisse
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PostSun Feb 18, 2024 7:45 pm 
Yes, it was on the so-called "Junction Climb" gravel road on Campbell Global land. (See this thread if you want details on location: https://www.facebook.com/story.php/?id=723830214380798&story_fbid=7051959701567786) The four women who weren't attacked/injured were able to pin the cougar down under a bike and stand/crouch on the bike to keep it there until WA Fish and Wildlife arrived and shot it. Very sad story indeed. 😢 Source: Daniel and I rode up on the surreal scene about 15-20 mins before WA Fish and Wildlife arrived....

Now I Fly  Comma, RumiDude
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NorthwestWanderer
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PostMon Feb 19, 2024 12:01 am 
Moving fast and quietly is always trouble when surprising / encountering predators. Especially Grizzly bears.

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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Cougar attack in mountain biking area north of the City of Snoqualmie 2-17-24
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