On Saturday, Feb. 17, a mountain lion approached a group of cyclist as they traversed a popular mountain biking route about a half hour east of Seattle. According to local reports, the cougar attacked one of the riders around 1 p.m., injuring her neck and face. Then her fellow riders held it down until a Washington Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) police officer arrived on the scene.

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“We are thankful that the victim is stable after the incident this weekend,” Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) Lieutenant Erik Olson said in a recent press release. “The people on scene took immediate action to render aid, and one of our officers was able to arrive within minutes to continue medical aid and coordinate transport. We may have had a very different outcome without their heroic efforts.”

The 60-year-old female victim is in stable condition after the attack, the WDFW press release states, and responding officers removed a 75-pound male cougar from the scene. “WDFW is submitting the cougar for an examination at the Washington State University lab,” the statement reads, “and will release more information on the age, disease testing, and body condition after the examination is complete.”

Sgt. Carlo Pace, WDFW’s statewide cougar specialist, told FOX8 Seattle that the cat was juvenile, approximately six months old. “It’s likely the younger ones that cause the most trouble because they are still figuring things out,” Pace said. “[They’re] still figuring out how to take down prey and what’s good.”

Eye witnesses reportedly saw a second cougar at the scene, prompting Pace and other WDFW officers to comb the area with a team of hounds. They never located the second lion, despite exhaustive search efforts.

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There are approximately 2,600 cougars the Evergreen State, according to a WDFW population survey conducted in 2022. The agency holds spring and fall hunting seasons for cougars, though last December, they accepted a petition that could scale back hunting opportunity for both cougars and black bears.