Thursday, May 21, 2020

Fatal Mountain Lion Attack in Washington State

But none of it worked. The big cat that had been following the two friends as they were mountain biking in rural Washington state pounced, lunging at Sederbaum’s head and killing Brooks, whom the animal mauled in its den.
The attacks Saturday morning — the first fatal one in the state in nearly a century — was uncharacteristic of cougars, which are normally solitary animals that run off when confronted by humans, said Capt. Alan Myers of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The adult male cougar stalked the cyclists, and instead of running away after the victims tried to scare it off, the animal returned and attacked them.
Brooks, 32, and Sederbaum, 31, were mountain biking on a dirt road near North Bend, a foothills town 30 miles from Seattle when they realized that a cougar was chasing them. They managed to drive the cat away, at least at first, by making loud noises — something that authorities recommend people do during such encounters. The cougar ran toward the bushes after one of the victims swung a bicycle at it, Abbott said.
But just as the two were about to leave, the cougar jumped back and pounced on Sederbaum, holding his head with its jaw and shaking him from side to side. At one point, Brooks got off the bike and ran away, catching the attention of the big cat, whose instinct was to chase. Injured and bloodied, Sederbaum hopped on his bike and rode away. He looked back and saw the cougar dragging his friend into the woods.'
Well, if you asked me, he's some fine friend.  Granted, he'd just been traumatically injured and mauled, but to just bike away?   Come on.
I shouldn't judge, I wasn't there, but I'd never let a friend be dragged away by a big cat.  And honestly, the cat wasn't all that huge, only 100 pounds.  Just do a search on the internet and you'll see some pictures of really big cougars, some that look like they'd be at home in an African pride.
Like this one.  Fighting this beast off by hand would be a losing proposition.

And frankly, although the article says we aren't on the menu, we are in fact on the menu.  It's rare, but they do attack.  I worked with someone who was killed by a cougar while jogging on a trail right behind Placerville.
Stay alert, stay safe, and go armed it you're going out in the woods.


  1. well, they were alert. but weren't safe because they weren't armed with adequate weapons. not even pepper spray. dumbasses.
    I watched a FEMALE lion take down a HUGE bull elk some time ago in the mountains near Monte Vista in CO. came from behind and got on the throat and did not let up. dinner was served.
    I carry a "noise maker" able to dissuade many types of predators, two and four legged. may not kill them outright but better by far than a bicycle. hopefully it would get the point that while I am standing in the middle of their dinner table, I am not really on today's menu.

  2. I don't think I'd ride bikes with the guy.

  3. I went deer hunting years ago in Alabama, walking to my stand I kept thinking something was following me. Walking out later there were big cat prints on my foot prints. I now load up soon as I get out of the truck.

  4. The last thing in their civilized mind was having a large cat eat them that day.

    Back in the 80's we sent a helo from the CG AirSta in Port Angeles, WA up to Vancouver Island, Canada for a kid who was attacked on the beach.

    1. Once the civilized mind experiences the uncivilized world in brutal fashion- you step out prepared or not at all.

      Great point.

  5. The city people in the Peoples Republik of Kahlifonia decided that the kitties should be Constitutionally protected. I think that a breeding pair should be dropped off in Golden Gate Park. Let it feast on the local transients. Here it is S(hoot),S(hovel)and S(hut up).

  6. I've see 'em wandering in pairs in down town San Luis Obispo and singles in Paso Robles.

    While tracking (I only hunt upland birds now, but I do like to track bigger game) I 'felt' I was being stalked. I J-hooked into a clump of brush to sit very quiet and very still. About twenty minutes later a good sized cat came into view warily along my track. I was down wind with a good view so I fired into the dirt right in front of him. He bolted with his tail on fire. I beeline'd for the truck.

    I've met mtn bikers way out in the back country. Several times when I have warned that cats will attack from the side or from behind and they look like what's for dinner when riding away from the animal, they scoffed. I figured it was because they felt fear because they were defenseless. Sure enough, a gal and guy got attacked while riding. Most of her body was never found. The guy said they tried to out pace the animal when they saw it coming from their 5 o'clock.


  7. Pacific Northwest here. Until the past few years Mountain Lion encounters within our city were common. All too often cougar sightings meant I had to contain children in the building because the yards were risky.

    One time a woman in the area went into her shower. Her window was open. When she came out there was a young cougar sitting on her bed. Sadly, in this instance, the cat was killed. Usually they are captured and released into the wild, primarily young males looking for a home, confused once they were into city limits. Same with bears.

    Also, in the city there are huge flocks of deer. Great nummies for a young male.

  8. Hunting in South Texas once I climbed a comfortable-looking tree over-hanging a rocky dry creek, perfect game run. After a while I could hear something moving in the whitebrush, just outside visual range, went all around me, round and round for about an hour. Finally dusk came - but no game - and as I was climbing down I noticed below me in the crotches of the live oak an assortment of small mammal bones. Hadn't seen them climbing up. I had been sitting in a mountain lion's own favorite ambush spot I guess. It was too dry and rocky to see any tracks, but whatever was moving around was a good size and not a hog, and not moving tentatively like a deer. Made the hair on my neck stand up to realize I was on the menu.

  9. You can actually feel it when one of those fuckers is stalking you. They'll sit behind a stump in a clearcut and just watch you over the top, making the hair go up on the back of you neck.

  10. As has been said: cougars / pumas/ mountain lions consider humans "not quite fast enough food".

  11. Sitting in the "THICK" woods, In a small clearing. East Texas. Heard a distinct growl behind me. Was Not a bobcat. EVERY hair on my body stood out. Flipped the safety off my rifle. Pulled my 357 pistol out, cocked it. Slowly got up walked up the trail out of the woods. Never did see what it was, but it wasn't a small cat. DAMN!

  12. Nature. Not Disney. Not even a little bit.

  13. I think that's an attack that happened in 2018.

  14. Had a young one jump out of a tree at me in my backyard. Luckily I had Mr. Mossberg with me. A couple of years earlier above my house a local was hunting and had one attack him. Shot it while it was in the air from the hip and got a good hit and killed it.

  15. Or go Carl Akeley at it, punch down it's throat. Don't laugh, it worked.

  16. "The attacks Saturday morning — the first fatal one in the state in nearly a century — was uncharacteristic of cougars, which are normally solitary animals that run off when confronted by humans, said Capt. Alan Myers of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife."

    No. Just no. This is expected behavior when cats are at a minimum, or nonexistent. But back in pioneer days? Yeah, lots of stories of trappers, lone cowpokes, wagons, farmsteads and even towns having couger/puma/mountain lion attacks.

    And they are everywhere. Suspected of deaths along the Appalachian Trail, though the 'experts' say it isn't so.

    They will go into suburbs. They will go into places you wouldn't think a raccoon could get into. And they will choose easy-to-kill livestock over hard-to-kill wildlife any day.

  17. Was walking post on camp guard in Camp Pendleton in SoCal long ago. Came walking around a dark corner and heard a low rumbling. I saw some glowing eyes. I shouldered my M-16 and backed the hell out of that area. I resumed patrolling areas that were well lit. An entire Communist armored regiment could have gone through the area in that dark corner before I was going back there again!!!