NATIONAL NEWS

Cyclist in Washington state sustains injuries after a cougar ‘latched onto’ her

Feb 19, 2024, 5:43 PM | Updated: 5:44 pm

FILE (Getty Images)...

FILE: A Washington cyclist was injured over the weekend when a cougar "latched onto" her. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — A woman suffered injuries to her face and neck after a cougar leapt out and “latched onto” her while she was cycling with a group on a trail in Washington state, authorities said.

The incident happened Saturday on a trail northeast of Fall City, a community about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Seattle, KOMO-TV reported. Friends of the woman, 60, “were able to detach and fight this thing off” after it ”latched onto” her, said Sgt. Carlo Pace with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police.

“They were able to pin down a good size lion with its claws and teeth and everything else under a mountain bike until we arrived,” he said.

The woman was released from the hospital.

The agency described the cougar as a 75-pound (34-kilogram) young male. The animal was shot and killed by wildlife police.

Witnesses told authorities they had seen a second cougar run through the area. But agency police during a search were not able to find a second animal.

The agency said cougar attacks on people are rare.

Last July, an 8-year-old on a camping trip in Olympic National Park in Washington sustained minor injuries in a cougar attack.

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Cyclist in Washington state sustains injuries after a cougar ‘latched onto’ her