Updated: WDFW Statement on Cougar Incident in King County

Update 9:08 February 18th, 2024: Eyewitness accounts indicated there may have been a second cougar. WDFW Police enlisted the help of a houndsman on the afternoon of Feb. 17 and did not find a second cougar near the scene.

Updated 3:57 pm February 17th, 2024: According to Deputy Mike Mellis (fill-in PIO for the KCSO), at approximately 12:25 pm today (February 17th, 2024), the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) received a 911 call from a group of road bikers.

They were in a wilderness area along Tokul Creek, approximately 5 miles due north of the City of Snoqualmie. They reported being stalked and attacked by at least one cougar. One biker (reportedly a 60-year-old female) received either claw or bite injuries from one of the cats during this incident. The injured woman was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.   

The injured woman’s fellow bikers were able to pin down one of the animals (approximately a six-month-old kitten) while a second cougar fled back into the forest.

KCSO deputies, Washington Fish and Wildlife agents, and medical personnel responded. One cougar was euthanized at the scene. Fish and Wildlife will conduct follow-up work on this incident.

Original Story

On Saturday, Feb. 17, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Officers received a report of a human-cougar incident with documented injuries on a road northeast of Fall City, Washington, in King County.

A cougar attacked a group of five cyclists, and an adult female is being taken to the hospital for her injuries.

Fish and Wildlife personnel removed one cougar on the scene, and a hound handler has been dispatched to locate a potential second cougar involved in the incident. 

WDFW Police are asking people to avoid the area at this time.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

[Information provided by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife]

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  • Not a good sign when the cougars are teaching their young to hunt humans. Hey, here’s an idea, let’s bring back the grizzlies and wolfs too! Oh, they’re already doing that? Your vote matters, if you know who and what you’re voting for.

  • So these people entered a wildlife area, then encountered wild animals who live there doing what wild animals do, pinned down a 6 month old cub while the mother of the cub escaped. Break up a wild family, most likely cause the death of both of these beautiful wild beings. Tragic and unacceptable. Another example of humans disregard for nature, and environmental damage.

  • If they’re hunting humans, they’re desperate. If they’re hunting a pack of 5 human bicyclists, they’re Really desperate. Maybe the cub was “playing”? Overcome with the thrill of it all? Real sad it’s dead now. Humans need to coexist.
    I ride mtbikes every weekend in those woods and others. I surely don’t want to be mauled nor eaten by a big cat or other. But, humans have encroached and consumed and exterminated and pushed everything out of the way of progress and development. It’s upsetting when there’s this kind of conflict. Relocate the cats, don’t kill them.

  • It makes sense that a young animal would chase what might appear at first as a herd of deer. I wonder if the animal was attacked by the humans before it could even make sense of the situation. What a very sad outcome. We need to stop viewing nature as a playground. Respect it or stay home and play with your toys.

  • If possible, would you please be more specific on the exact location of the cougar attack. For example, were the bikers on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail by Tokul Creek? Or was the group on one of the trails above the Snoqualmie Valley Trail on Hancock land? Thank you

  • https://mountainlion.org/2014/01/13/cougar-age-and-sex-identification-guide/

    Updates from WDFW put the cat as a young 75-pound male, which indicates the cat was probably between 9 and 10 months old, still a kitten, and not yet fully trained by “Mom” to live independently. Michael’s comment (2/19/24 11:29) is consistent with “cat-think”, they like to chase, which is why people are told to not run. Also, while cats’ eyes are tuned to see well in low-light, and detect motions, they lack the acuity of human eyes, so to a cat, a person hunched on a bicycle has a form more akin to a deer than an upright human.

    I’m pleased the woman is okay, and hope that she heals without problems. I’m sorry to hear we have lost another mountain lion.

  • Living Snoqualmie