Helicopters were in the Ernie’s Grove area of the Snoqualmie Valley Saturday afternoon, May 19th, responding to a man injured after a reported cougar attack.
According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, two men were mountain biking when the attack occurred near North Fork Road and Lake Hancock Road near North Bend.
The 31-year old man, who was bit on the head during the attack, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. His 32-year old friend reportedly fled into the woods and was chased by the cougar. That man was found deceased.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the area and officers used dogs to track the cougar. The estimated 100 pound cougar was located not too far from the deceased man and was euthanized.
The injured man was upgraded from serious to satisfactory condition by Saturday night. He told police when they first encountered the cougar they were were able to scare it off, but shortly after the initial encounter the cat came back and pounced on him. That was when his friend fled into the woods. The injured man was able to ride his bike until he got cell service and call for help.
This was the first fatal cougar attack in Washington State 100 years.
Cougar sightings are not uncommon in the Snoqualmie Valley. In January two cougars were spotted eating an elk beside SE 70th Drive in rural Snoqualmie (unincorporated King County).
** The deceased person was later identified as a female by her parents who requested privacy. **