Forum Index > Trail Talk > Cougar attack in mountain biking area north of the City of Snoqualmie 2-17-24
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Tom
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PostThu Feb 29, 2024 7:28 pm 
I don't think anyone necessarily perceives animal attacks as the number one risk. They may prepare as if it were a higher risk, while not preparing for other risks that are far more likely, that's the bigger issue in my mind. Then again, I neglected to bring a rain jacket on a trip last year and was kicking myself, realizing I'd be in big trouble if it started to rain as I was already chilled to the bone with the layers I had brought. That won't happen again.

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Vertec
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PostThu Feb 29, 2024 7:28 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
JPH wrote:
What is the number if you include "Non-fatal cougar attacks where the cougar was trying to kill the person but was successfully fought off"?
Still not as many as people killed by bee stings, I bet.
See my previous post. WDFW tracks the number of "Human safety" incidents. Most of them never made the news because they were "resolved" by the humans involved. Edit: Examples: 2024-02-07 08:18:13 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL NA STEVENS CO C24020065 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, the cougar was lethally removed by the reporting citizen. 2024-02-02 08:43:59 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA 1 ANIMAL KLICKITAT CO C24020010 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar. The citizen killed the cougar with his [redacted]. WDFW responded and investigated. (maybe such concerns have merit, at least here's some data to consider) One pet was killed, and classified as a depredation (DEP): 2024-01-04 00:00:00 COUGAR CONF DEP W/ LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL OKANOGAN CO 240100136 Citizen reported their pet was killed by a cougar, WDFW investigated and confirmed the depredation was a cougar. The cougar was lethally removed.

Out There, carrying the self-evident truth I am endowed by my Creator with unalienable rights of self-defended Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
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RumiDude
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PostThu Feb 29, 2024 9:36 pm 
Vertec wrote:
snowmonkey wrote:
1. Falling 2. Drowning 3. Hypothermia 4. Heart attack 5. Heat stress It seems to be a psychological issue when animals come to mind as the number one culprit.
The items listed are either accidental or health related "threats", therefore comparing them to an animal attack is a logical fallacy.
There's no logical fallacy to simply noting the most likely causes of death in the backcountry, it's simply stating the raw statistical facts. "Accidents" don't just happen, there is always a significant human decision element involved, and that applies as well to animal attacks on humans in the backcountry, even cougar attacks. So when thinking of the things which should concern us in regards to traveling in the backcountry, animal attack is waaaaaaay less concerning that these other things. Those are the things we ought to study and learn about so we can make good decisions that keep us safe. We should do the same with cougars, but we should be aware that the likelihood of a cougar attack is very low compared to fall, drowning, hypothermia, and heat distress. We know why people get jacked up about animal attack, we really do understand that phenomenon. Partly is is because we assign agency to animals and assign the others as "mere accidents" as if there was no way to avoid them. It's also due to the fact that animal attacks are played up in our popular culture. This has been going on for a very long time. Just think Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. This fascination with dangerous animal encounters goes back millennia. The more we ruminate on those things, the more the threat grows in our minds. So, the logical thing to do is to put thought and energy into the more likely scenarios. That's called putting things into proper perspective. That's the value of looking at the statistics and understanding as much as possible about them. That's why I say over emphasis on a possible cougar attack is counter productive. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."

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Vertec
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PostThu Feb 29, 2024 11:50 pm 
RumiDude wrote:
Vertec wrote:
snowmonkey wrote:
1. Falling 2. Drowning 3. Hypothermia 4. Heart attack 5. Heat stress It seems to be a psychological issue when animals come to mind as the number one culprit.
The items listed are either accidental or health related "threats", therefore comparing them to an animal attack is a logical fallacy.
There's no logical fallacy to simply noting the most likely causes of death in the backcountry, ... So when thinking of the things which should concern us in regards to traveling in the backcountry, animal attack is waaaaaaay less.... That's why I say over emphasis on a possible cougar attack is counter productive. Rumi
Noting likely causes of death by itself is not a logical fallacy (I never said it was). Comparing the likelihood of other threats to downplay the threat of an animal attack, and furthermore characterize them as a "psychological issue" IS a logical fallacy. This was my point. And speaking of probability, WDFW has documented three "Human safety" incidents (so far) for February 2024 (see my post directly above your reply). Only one incident resulted in injury, the other two did not. It is NOT valid to ignore the incidents that did not result in injury, and how injury was prevented. The idea that WE "assign agency to animals" is NOT correct because they act directly as agents while going about their existence. I never said other threats listed are "unavoidable mere accidents". I ONLY stated they are different than threats from animals.

Out There, carrying the self-evident truth I am endowed by my Creator with unalienable rights of self-defended Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
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BigBrunyon
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PostFri Mar 01, 2024 1:46 am 
I'd you and/or the collective number of your group can't beat up an animal if need be, then stay home!!! I'm aware of what animals I can beat up and it includes cougars and black bears.

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PostSat Mar 02, 2024 5:51 pm 
The 2023 WDFW data reports 23 HUMAN SAFETY incidents involving cougars. One CONFIRMED SIGHTING is included below because it involved Seattle Watershed employees who were “rattled by the event” - read it and make your own conclusions. That report also mentions advising ”some of the legal requirements about alleged human safety encounters with lions”, so it seems WDFW has a reasonable process for investigating AND classifying these issues. The 2023 data also includes many depredation incidents involving livestock which aren’t relevant here. Pet depredations are also not listed below due to unknown context (hiking or other?). Unfortunately details of every incident aren’t documented. But the numbers alone are relevant for consideration. Edit: One incident describes a physical contact with the cougar resulting in minor injury. Edit2: Full disclosure: There's a poop ton of confirmed and unconfirmed sightings (NOT determined to be safety) in the 2023 data, the number of these should also be of consideration. Unfortunately the WDFW site has NO features to sort/count incidents. 2023-01-09 08:24:19 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL CHELAN CO C23010065 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, WDFW responded and the cougar was lethally removed. 2023-02-08 08:04:59 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA WALLA WALLA CO C23020061 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW cannot confirm at this time. 2023-02-27 10:31:32 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA CLALLAM CO C23020213 Citizen reported a possible human safety confrontation with a cougar. WDFW responded to the call by contacting the individual over the phone, but was unable to verify the account onsite. 2023-03-29 10:43:50 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 2 ANIMALS LINCOLN CO C23030288 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, WDFW responded and the cougar was lethally removed. 2023-05-10 09:19:12 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL CHELAN CO 230500218 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, WDFW responded and the cougar was lethally removed. 2023-06-09 10:18:04 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL PEND OREILLE CO C23060267 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, WDFW responded and the cougar was lethally removed. 2023-06-14 16:28:54 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA KITTITAS CO C23060426 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW cannot confirm at this time. 2023-06-30 08:22:42 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA 1 ANIMAL CLALLAM CO C23060968 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW confirmed the sighting. 2023-07-10 07:35:32 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA 1 ANIMAL ASOTIN CO C23070229 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW cannot confirm at this time. 2023-07-17 10:27:34 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA 1 ANIMAL OKANOGAN CO C23070455 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW confirmed the sighting. 2023-07-29 18:55:42 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL NA ASOTIN CO C23070858 Citizen reported that a cougar was trying to attack their domestic fowl and was still on site, an Asotin County Deputy arrived on scene prior to WDFW, and the cougar was lethally removed. 2023-08-03 07:21:14 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL OKANOGAN CO 230800091 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, landowner lethally removed. 2023-08-08 22:48:43 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL CHELAN CO 230800302 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, WDFW responded and the cougar was lethally removed. 2023-09-02 12:44:44 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL YAKIMA CO C23090034 Hunter reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, Hunter shot and killed cougar after it became aggressive. WDFW responded and took possession of the cougar. 2023-09-03 15:26:35 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL KLICKITAT CO 230900157 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, WDFW responded and the cougar was lethally removed. 2023-09-15 16:29:47 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA 0 ANIMALS THURSTON CO C23090359 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW cannot confirm at this time. 2023-09-25 07:34:05 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA LEWIS CO 230901417 2023-10-08 16:11:52 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL CLARK CO 231000369 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW confirmed the sighting. 2023-10-15 16:06:51 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA 1 ANIMAL SPOKANE CO 231000645 Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW confirmed the sighting. 2023-10-23 13:05:26 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA SPOKANE CO C23100447 2023-10-26 07:34:24 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA WHATCOM CO C23100505 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar 2023-10-26 00:00:00 COUGAR CONFIRMED SIGHTING NA KING CO 231100227 On Friday afternoon I spoke with Darian Davis, the security manager for the Seattle Watershed, in response to an email he included me on about an encounter with a lion by one of his employees. Davis reached out to me as I am known to many of the employees in the watershed and have given many educational presentations, and worked on projects usually related to coexisting with wildlife. WDFW has not interviewed the employee that had the encounter yet, Davis advised that it was an emotional event for them and that we would have to get permission from their supervisor first and even then he was unsure if the employee would want to speak with us. I advised Davis of some of the legal requirements about alleged human safety encounters with lions; Davis said he would attempt to facilitate the interview. The information provided to me from Davis, about the lion encounter itself, supports Officer Moszeter' s hypothesis of the lion possibly being a female trying to shoo a human away from its cubs or similar scenario. I have not heard any information at this time to believe the lion is dangerous or acting predatory. Regardless, the Seattle Watershed employees were apparently rattled by the event. In an abundance of caution they requested that I search the area of the occurrence with my KBD in an attempt to assess the lion and if the area is safe for their employees to work in. They also requested that I provide related training for their employees for how to safely work around large carnivores in remote areas. I advised Davis that I would coordinate with him and their staff on both accounts. Citizen reported sighting a cougar in the area, WDFW confirmed the sighting. 2023-11-15 15:37:55 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA SNOHOMISH CO 231100390 Today I was forwarded information from multiple sources on a human confrontation with a lion outside of Index. The news of some sort of an attack had already made it onto internet sites. There is a photo that showed a cougar that was small and through the graininess appeared to be a kitten that should have still been with its mother. The photo was oddly distorted. i received a return call this evening and spoke with the RP as WCS O'Conner and I were just leaving our trucks to hike up the mountain into the Wild Sky Wilderness and Bolt Creek Fire to the incident location with KBD Freyja. He advised that earlier yesterday his girlfriend with her fifty pound dog and another companion were hiking on Heybrook Ridge when they were approached by a cougar. Apparently the cat was interested in the dog, but did not make contact with anyone in the party and they were able to safely walk out of the area. The RP went to see if they were okay and also ran into the cat. He said it approached him and he punched it and it swatted back at him, hitting his hand. The RP then hit the cat with a big stick and that was the end of the direct conflict. The RP later noticed he had a cut in his hand and believes it may have been from the lions paw. The RP was able to safely walk away at that point. The RP said the photo on the internet was his and he forwarded it to me again along with the another photo of the cat, a photo of the cut on his hand, and a screen shot of his location at the time of the incident. I advised the RP that the lion appeared to be a kitten and presumably orphaned, not knowing how to act like a normal cougar. The RP advised that he did not think that it was very big. He said that he and his friends hiked up to the location again today with a predator call and did not see the cat. O'Conner and I then hiked up through the burn to the location on the route to Gunn Peak. We searched the area with KBD Freyja and did not locate any lion. Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, WDFW responded and the cougar was not located. 2023-12-17 08:15:20 COUGAR HUMAN SAFETY CONFRONTATIONA NA WHATCOM CO C23120134

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catsp
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PostSat Mar 02, 2024 6:21 pm 
Vertec wrote:
2023-08-03 07:21:14 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL OKANOGAN CO 230800091 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, landowner lethally removed.
Wow, I'm not taking the chance of reporting any encounter I might have!

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PostSat Mar 02, 2024 6:47 pm 
catsp wrote:
Vertec wrote:
2023-08-03 07:21:14 COUGAR HUMAN SAFTY W/LETHAL REMOVAL 1 ANIMAL OKANOGAN CO 230800091 Citizen reported a human safety confrontation with a cougar, landowner lethally removed.
Wow, I'm not taking the chance of reporting any encounter I might have!
My take on the data is WDFW seems to be reasonable regarding human safety "removals" by citizens (WA law protects cases of self defense). You can also browse the data yourself to see many removals for depredation. This is very encouraging, and good PR for WDFW. If WDFW is seen as being unreasonable then incidents get buried. We don't have the right to "remove" anything unless it's an actual threat. Trying to hide a defense removal will likely cause someone a heap of trouble if WDFW somehow finds out - they seem to be very competent so IMHO it's not worth taking that chance. While hiking/backpacking my first instinct is to draw my Nikon to "shoot away" and only transition to something else if absolutely necessary. If I ever see a cat I'm hoping she's a poser smile.gif

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PostSat Mar 02, 2024 6:56 pm 
It was an attempt at humor. The wording made it sound like the landowner had been lethally removed. smile.gif

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PostSun Mar 03, 2024 3:31 pm 
Interesting Vertec. I had not heard about the cougar incident on Heybrook. I know we have them around here but I've never seen one. Heard one once and it scared the crap out of me. We have talked about it our last few evening dog walks, and how we need to stay vigilante regardless if its the hatchery, a dirt road, or just walking around the block. Muliple confirmed sightings around the nature trails, but no problems. Lots of lost cat and dog signs.

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PostWed Mar 13, 2024 11:32 am 
https://www.themeateater.com/conservation/general/new-details-emerge-in-gruesome-lion-attack-on-cyclists More details on the fight with the cat. Some of them gory, but worth reading i think. They bashed the cat with a large rock and stabbed it pretty bad it sounds like but it kept clinging on. Pretty much confirms a second cat was indeed there.

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PostWed Mar 13, 2024 11:43 am 
^ this is why you always carry a knife in the woods.

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PostWed Mar 13, 2024 3:53 pm 
Ski wrote:
^ this is why you always carry a knife in the woods.
I never leave home without a knife. So so so soooooooo many uses. Rumi

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PostThu Mar 14, 2024 10:47 am 
catsp wrote:
It was an attempt at humor. The wording made it sound like the landowner had been lethally removed. smile.gif
Sorry I missed that wink.gif I'm just happy WDFW seems to be reasonable when "plebs" need to take action.

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PostFri Mar 15, 2024 11:53 am 
https://www.kuow.org/stories/cougar-attack-washington-state-cyclists

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