WDFW statement on cougar incident in King County

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WDFW statement

Last updated at 8:15 a.m., Friday, March 8

On Saturday, Feb. 17 at 12:48 p.m., Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Officers received a report of a human-cougar incident with documented injuries on a trail northeast of Fall City, Washington in King County. A group of five cyclists were biking on a road when one of the cyclists, an adult female, was attacked by a cougar. She sustained injuries to her neck and face and has been released from the hospital.  

“We are thankful that the victim is stable after the incident this weekend,” said Lieutenant Erik Olson. “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.”  

Fish and Wildlife officers removed a 75-pound male cougar, nearly a year old (approximately 9-12 months) on arrival at the scene. A Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory examination at Washington State University found the animal to be in good health and body condition with no evidence of significant diseases or abnormalities that would affect its behavior. The animal tested negative for rabies.  

Incident eyewitnesses indicated they saw a second cougar run through the scene. Due to the 75-pound male cougar’s age, this second cougar could have been its mother or sibling that it had been traveling with. WDFW Police performed an exhaustive search using hounds on Feb. 17 and did not find a second cougar. WDFW Police conducted increased patrols of the area following the incident. 

For more information on Washington cougars visit WDFW’s website.

Media contact: communications@dfw.wa.gov

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-855-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.