Rider Killed by Cougar in Washington State

May 20, 2018 at 18:10
by Richard Cunningham  
The Seattle Times reported that two mountain bike riders were stalked by a cougar while they were cycling on a dirt road in the forest near Snoqualmie, a popular riding destination east of Seattle, Washington. After facing off the cat, the two continued on their way, after which the cougar returned and attacked 31 year old Seattle resident Isaac Sederbaum. According to Sederbaum, his friend, identified as S.J. Brooks, tried to flee into the woods, which captured the attention of the cat and precipitated a fatal attack on Brooks. Reportedly, Sederbaum then hopped on his bike and rode two miles in search of cell phone reception to call for emergency assistance. Brook was found dead and was apparently being dragged off the trail by the cat when authorities using tracking dogs located and killed the animal.

Fish and Wildlife officials said attacks are rare and that this was only the second fatality by a cougar in Washington State in nearly 100 years. The cougar was in "emaciated" condition and is being examined by veterinarians to assess why the attack may have occurred. Rich Beausoleil, the state’s bear and cougar specialist said that the state's cougar population has been stable at 2100 adults. "Emotions can run high after a report such as today’s" he said. “Hopefully, nobody will break the law.”

How much should mountain bikers worry about cougar attacks? Chances of an attack are minimal. In the past century, 18 non-fatal attacks were recorded in Washington, with seven requiring minor hospitalization. Top predators are always a risk, so riders should be prepared. The two mountain bikers initially responded correctly, reportedly, by facing it off, making lots of noise and waving their bikes, which successfully drove the cat off. Be aware of potential wildlife risks, and it's a good idea to check with local authorities for a specific danger in unfamiliar riding areas.

Our condolences go out to the friends and family of S.J. Brooks.

See the Seattle Times follow-up story.


365 Comments

  • + 254
 Perspective.

Extremely rare, tragic incident.
The forest IS Cougar habitat.
Cougars are facing habitat loss in many areas.
Hunters have shot and killed (recorded) over 600 cougars in the US alone since 96.
  • + 44
 The last fatal attack was in the 1920's. This is the second second one recorded.
  • + 7
 Very rare. This was the second time in something like 100 years. Nothing you should be scared of, but Scarry none the less. Especially being in the same area on the same day...
  • + 6
 Where's the link for the 600+ kills in the US? I'd like to learn more.
  • + 33
 @makripper: To clarify - The last fatal attack "in Washington State" was in the 1920's. There have been almost 100 attacks in the US to date, with 25 of them being fatal.
  • + 4
 Very unfortunate indeed, people that ride in that area should consider carrying a bear spray
  • + 43
 @COnovicerider: I laughed when I saw your comment until I realized it was me who wrote 600. It's 60,000! No idea how that happened.

It's so bad and the numbers have been decimated so much that they're not getting the genetic diversity to fight disease etc.

Some good info here - mountainlion.org/FAQfrequentlyaskedquestions.asp#Hunting
  • + 1
 @taquitos: better chance of wining the lotto actually. not the big ticket, but the lottery nonetheless
  • + 17
 Nearly all cougars in the US are killed via legal hunting. Since we killed pretty much all the wild wolf populations a hundred years ago, and deer populations are higher than they've ever been in North America since deer evolved, the cougar population is actually rather healthy and growing. Jaguars are also returning to the southwest in AZ and NM.
  • + 6
 @makripper: where? Are you not including southern California, where this did happen within the last ten years or so? In California, mountain lion populations have been increasing since hunting of them was outlawed. Although the odds of being attacked are still minuscule, sightings are way, way up.
  • + 2
 @taquitos: Same here... You were at Raging River, or Duthie, or what?
  • - 15
flag gnarnaimo (May 20, 2018 at 23:00) (Below Threshold)
 @JoseBravo: Bear spray? Yeah.. Good luck with that offering any help against a cougar
  • + 7
 @cdmbmw: how about my 24" pythons?
  • - 2
 @JoseBravo: cougar spray, you mean?
  • + 28
 Sex Panther. They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

My condolences.
  • + 9
 @makripper:
In the US?
Negative.
A guy (a triathelete no less) was killed in Whiting Ranch by a mountain lion, and the same animal later attacked two women, and while it was attempting to finish off one of 'em, her friend successfully drive it away with rocks.
And this was post-y2k.
  • - 61
flag fecalmaster (May 21, 2018 at 1:40) (Below Threshold)
 I see a idiot hunt a cougar, mountain lion, bear,etc basically endangered animals who actually belong out there,,,, they will quickly become the hunted by me.
  • + 14
 @cdmbmw: you are a dumbass. Bear spray is engineered to drive off a grizzly bear, which would eat a cougar for a snack. 90% of bear attacks are susccessfuly stopped with bear spray. A firearm, btw, is far less. If it's strong enough to for a grizzly, it's strong enough for a cougar. And unlike a firearm, nothing loses its life.
  • + 6
 @fecalmaster: You clearly don’t understand the importance of wildlife maintenance which includes hunting predators like that. If we didn’t hunt old bears they would hurt a healthy bear population via canabalism (yes, bears eat other bears including cubs) Take Yellowstone for example. Currently the wolves are destroying many species of prey since they’ve been outlawed to hunt there for quite some time. Now the park has to hire professionals to come hunt wolves to get it under control.
  • - 52
flag fecalmaster (May 21, 2018 at 3:48) (Below Threshold)
 @FindDigRideRepeat: Your clearly don't understand I give 0 f*cks about popping some bitchass yocal who wants a cougar skin in their living room.
  • + 15
 @fecalmaster: no it is you throwing trophy hunting into the same bag with population control.
  • + 53
 @fecalmaster: Couger tags are issued by park biologist's who know a damn load more than you do about ecology. In some areas you cannot hunt a Couger because the numbers are low, in other area's you can because the numbers are in excess of a healthy population, so they start to kill out deer populations. It's the same with bears and wolves. Money from tags in one area pays for the protection and rehabilitation of the same species in another area. Sorry dude, but unless you are volunteering tour time and money towards habitat restoration then you ain't doing shit to help. Talking shit on the internet about killing a hunter ain't saving a species. Sit down.
  • - 26
flag fecalmaster (May 21, 2018 at 5:22) (Below Threshold)
 Population control indeed.
  • + 13
 A few years ago while mtn biking at McDowell Mtn Regional Park in Fountain Hills AZ I encountered a mountain lion on the trail about 200 feet away. I backed up another 100 feet to high ground and he ambled off the edge into a wash. I had hoped to see him moving off through the scrub but no such luck. After trying to decide whether to ride a 5 mile loop back to the campground (which was a half mile away) to stay away, I settled on talking loudly and riding slowly so as to not trigger a chase response and made it it back safely. I now wear a pistol when riding in remote AZ. It turned out that the park rangers knew of 4 lions in the park. A good sized can of bear spray would also be helpful, but a cougar can leap about 25-30 feet WITHOUT a running start.
  • + 11
 @fecalmaster: who gets your mtb bikes when you go to prison for killing a hunter?
  • - 22
flag fecalmaster (May 21, 2018 at 6:17) (Below Threshold)
 That's a crazy story about the mountain lion run in, had something similar with a bear one time.
  • + 25
 @fecalmaster: Fecal Master. The intellectual titan.
  • + 7
 @BaldBilly: Ok I was drunk commenting last night. My thought process was that you would likely have bear spray in your bag and the chances of you extracting it soon enough to offer any assistance is very slim, as any weapon. That being said, perhaps it could be mounted to the front of shoulder strap of your bag or to your bike.
  • + 7
 @cdmbmw: It's odd that many of the encounters are proceeded by a visual sighting. This would suggest that an individual might have plenty of time to pull out spray or some king of weapon. Anyone know why many of the interactions start with an observation - I'd suspect that that they would just ambush from off trail?
  • + 1
 @Soilsledding: Everytime I am solo riding and I think of cougars I start riding faster because the fear of being ambushed. Maybe that fear is irrational, but I've always thought cats were the type of predators to ambush their prey. Maybe it is because there was two of them, perhaps it would have been different if only one person had been attacked?
  • + 1
 @YoKev: i remember this. they autopsied that cat and found it had some brain disease that made it behave that way.
  • + 10
 Very sad.

A friend of mine had an encounter with a cougar while on a mountain bike ride in Western Washington in the nineties. It basically turned into a wrestling match and he was lucky the cat was not full grown. The story is worth a read:

community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960527&slug=2331443
  • + 4
 @cdmbmw: Look at some of the encounters on youtube. If you watch closely, cats aren't too concerned with being seen and like to be able to access the situation with the end result being a 'flight' response. When that does not occur (flight =attack opportunity) you will notice that they start accessing risk. When people take action to confront them in a loud and aggressive way, the cat typically goes front hunt mode to self preservation...turning head away, walking parallel as opposed to at, lowering head relative to body, reduced eye contact etc.
  • + 5
 @Soilsledding: sry my OCD kicking in, you mean "Assessing"
  • + 11
 What about the two people killed by mtn lions in Orange County, California about 10 years ago? I love how people cherry pick their statistics. If you want to talk about mountain lion attacks you need to talk about overall attacks in the United States, not just Washington. I worked as a wildlife biologist for quite a while and had several run-ins with mountain lions. If you enter the woods without bear spray or a firearm you're putting yourself at risk. At either of these guys been armed, they would both be alive and unscathed today.
  • + 4
 @Thustlewhumber: A good friend of mine was attacked by a cougar here out near Tonasket. Fortunately for him, he happened to have a firearm on him at the time. Even after being shot, the Cougar ran and jumped some 30 feet from boulder to boulder before passing away.

That being said, unless I were riding solo at Tiger / Raging / Olallie, I'm not too worried about mountain lions or bears here. Granted they are ambush predators who like fast moving prey and we simulate much of that in our descending.
  • + 0
 @brncr6: I want one! (Or two) Razz
  • + 0
 NSMB is reporting the cat at 100 lbs and the deceased rider as female. None of us were there..... but if that were the case you wouldn't see me tuck tail and run if a 100 pound cat was after my gal, daughter, or friend. Neg away, bitches.
  • + 5
 @WasatchEnduro: Yeah that would be 100lbs of something that would probably crush your skull with a bite and shred you to s**t with out a care in the world.
  • + 15
 @WasatchEnduro: Even after you were bleeding from the head wound the cat already gave you? And you have no experience of the situation you're talking about, or how you'd react, because it's all instinct at that point? We're all heroes sitting in front of a computer, but (luckily) few of us know how we'd react to a top predator attack. This guy already has to live through this (and relive it) and you're sitting there criticizing.
  • + 4
 @PNdubRider: Dude... Crazy story. Your friend was seriously lucky. It did make for a great read. The cat looked shocked when the guy tried to choke it... He had practiced with his friend's German Shepard, but the cat was a lot stronger than the dog. Park ranger: That was weird, normally cougars are scared of humans. Maybe this one is now. Razz
  • + 5
 @WasatchEnduro: that’s one of the best arse grown assumptions on this page ever, like 12 year olds describing how would they kick a bad guy in the alley if he was holding a knife. I Come upon a moose 2-3 times a year and although I have a strategy of action put in my head in case they charge, I always find myself stunned for the first few moments. But I didn’t serve in special forces. My uncle who spent half of his life in the woods, told me stories about meeting wild bores a few times and one of the last times when he stumbled upon the cubs in tall grass, he panicked and run as if his arse was on fire. And you are sure about your reaction taking place within 1-3 seconds between seeing a mountain lion charging at you and it being on your head. Come on... big wheels roll faster but are less playful
  • + 6
 @WasatchEnduro: Yeah, but the interesting thing is that they both ran. Cougar attacks Victim 1. Victim 2 runs. Cougar attacks Victim 2. Victim 1 runs. Come on people. That whole joke about not outrunning the predator, just outrunning your friend is (or was supposed to be) just that, a joke.
  • + 5
 WAKI woke up on the left side of the bed today. Razz
  • + 2
 @Soilsledding: I have bear spray in the front shoulder pocket meant for a walkie talkie. This is in the Burton F-Stop camera backpack (best pack ever made, IMHO) which comes with the walkie holder.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns & @number44: The truth is whether you're just trying to save your own ass or in a group you should be mentally prepared to try and face down a big cat if you meet one out in the wild. You don't stumble upon them by chance... they stalk things they think might be week enough prey so chances are they've been watching you. Humans are generally able to intimidate them enough to get them to go away, but running is liable to trigger them to want to catch you.
  • + 1
 @taquitos: bullshit, it doesn’t matter what you prepare yourself mentally for. The only thing you can do is watch your bacck, look around in areas you may expect them to be. Then you can maybe prepare yourself mentally a bit if you have spotted one stalking you. Even then if it charges its your genes. Your fight or flight reflex takes over, completely, your frontal lobe checks out - it’s science. Unless off course you are trained, which is completely unrealistic in case of general population. Then you may get chimp part of your brain to be much more likely to go fight instead of flight.
  • + 2
 @number44:

Actually i'm standing at my desk criticizing. just sayin'. i'm aware that more than one rider against a "small" cat stand a good chance of scaring it off.

Horrible situation all around and nobody knows how they'd react but unless i was mortally wounded i wouldn't leave anyone behind.
  • + 0
 @fatduke:

i dunno fatty-d. I'm 200+ lbs of angry, bald, fat biker. I'd sit on his ass.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Exactly fight or flight. People don't always resort to flight. If it charges you you're kind of SOL already so you have to stand your ground and make yourself big so that it won't. Just like how avalanche training is common in the ski world, how to behave around predators could be in the mountain bike world. It's not really a debate whether or not standing your ground with a cat is better than running or not... it is. You have to be prepared to do it though.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

Yes i'm typing out my arse. just sayin' i wouldn't leave someone behind, not for a 100lb kitty cat.

Same here - when i've encountered huge moose it's just shocking and startling. Hard to know what anyone would do until they're in that situation. Good to have a plan in mind just in case.
  • + 0
 @Soilsledding: *"preceded"
  • - 1
 @mm732: if that's all you noticed, your OCD isn't very effective.
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro: I'm 16 stone chances are I'd not be fast enough to do owt. Luckily the angriest thing I've seen with claws on a trail is a badger, nearly got taken out be a dear on a night ride but I don't think they like meat so much.
  • + 4
 @Soilsledding: Throwing rocks near them scares the shit outta them. They hate not seeing, then hearing something close by. Hit them with the rock, they flinch and don't move much. Loud noise and throw anything, even faking a move at them with loud noise can get them to flee.
  • + 10
 @WasatchEnduro: Well, it sounds like this cat wasn't going to be scared off - they'd already tussled with it. Anyway, my point is that I think it's pretty shitty to be criticizing the actions of this guy who'd already been attacked and injured, seeing his companion being attacked/killed, and having his adrenaline and primitive brain making decisions for him.

I was fishing alone in those same foothills when a mtn lion showed up, and I did what I was supposed to in terms of facing it down, shouting, throwing rocks; it didn't run, it just looked at me for a bit and sauntered into the undergrowth. I'll happily admit I was scared motherless and that downstream slog to the car was some of the longest 30 minutes of my life.

As to fighting back, that's what you're supposed to do - I know some folks that managed it with 3 guys, a dog, and eventually hunting rifles; but I also held a 25 pound lion cub in Africa and when that thing wanted to be gone there's nothing in the world I could have done to hold onto it. Fighting is the right thing, but realistically I don't fancy my chances against 100+ pounds of wildcat.

(Also standing at my computer, internet warrioring...)
  • + 2
 @fatduke:

protip: don't be messing with no badgers.

#honeybadgerdon'tcare
  • + 1
 @number44:

That's gnarly. Glad the cat you saw lost interest.

Yup, that's the wild card. A couple people fighting a normal 100 lb cat might be able to scare it off..... but sounds like this cat had issues.
  • + 2
 @taquitos: They may stalk but that doesn't mean you won't come flying up on one right in the trail...happened to me, luckily I was going down a rocky chute and skid for about twenty feet before coming to a stop...rocks scattering everywhere and my speed sent it fleeing away. Needless to say I turned around and went home the long way.
  • + 3
 @rcrdrvr: Yeah that's really rare though. Considering it wasn't expecting you and was startled I wouldn't have expected it to do anything else. It probably didn't like that situation as much as you did.
  • + 4
 @bart882: We all need hound dogs for trail buddies!
  • + 3
 Here's an article with a little more info/backround www.kiro7.com/news/local/crews-responding-to-report-of-mountain-lion-attack-near-north-bend/752771730
Sounds like they did what they were supposed to and it initially worked but the cat was acting unusually for some reason and decided to go at them again.
  • + 2
 @JoseBravo: at least. Many of my friends carry pistols and knives. I like riding with them.
  • + 0
 @taquitos: what I meant was: without training, or at least without being around nature a lot, seeing things, like hunters or wardens would, like humans just 3-4 generations away would, you are highly porbably not the one who decides whether to fight or flight. Your inner chimp does. A city chimp like mine, just doesn’t have enough software for this kind of computation to go fight consistently. For fks sake my inner chimp goes rampant in first hand confrontation with a woman that sleeps next to me and I have 50/50 success rate at best. What I mean is I would not judge anyones reaction in such situation.

Look around in areas of potential danger, don’t ride alone, don’t clip in, don’t wear 5.10s, wear Pumas. It’s not about outrunning a mountain lion, it’s about outrunning your friends
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Well all I have to say is educate your inner chimp, man. As everyone should. Having some knowledge is better than nothing. "Well I would probably just run so why bother knowing anything" is silly to say. Yes, you will never know what it's like until you're in the situation, but anything is better than being entirely unprepared. I would never suggest living in fear though. You're more likely to die on your way to work than have this happen. And if you try and outrun your friends are you really a friend to them?
  • + 1
 @taquitos: not in a mood for jokes aren’t we Wink cheers!
  • + 3
 @taquitos: think it through enough times it becomes instinct...been doing the same for the next time I have to beat a pitbull off my dog...last time a grabbed it's legs and practically ripped the f*cker in half...better than what my buddy told me to do, 'stick your arm up it's arse'...lol, but he was not kidding! I planned to grab it by the legs and swing it about maybe yank it and snap something or slap it against a tree or rock, like I said tho, I practically ripped it in half. Still went for the legs though thanks to countless times visualizing it.
  • - 1
 @taquitos: but to give it peace from my side, no you don’t educate inner chimp, you train it, there’s a big difference. You can also train it to shut himself up and let the frontal lobe do the work depending on a situation. Like not jumping into conclusions and judging people on how they acted in extreme situations. Honestly, trying to be too smart about a cougar attack is not the best thing to do. Trust me.

Have a nice day Wink
  • + 3
 @PNdubRider: thanks for sharing that story. I am really shaken by this event. I was a couple miles away the day before and I have ridden that gravel road at least a half dozen times, even alone a couple of times. I am coming up with a plan to feel safe again, especially when I take my 10 year old son riding. Wrestling moves seem brilliant! A few of my friends wrestled and they always had the confidence knowing they could defend themselves.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: And why should I trust you? This isn't your backyard. The number of days I've spent out there isn't insignificant. I have no issue with the way the two bikers acted here. They did what you're supposed to and the thing came back. That's a once in a hundred years occurrence that is out of anyone's control. "Honestly, trying to be too smart about a cougar attack is not the best thing to do." This is about one of the stupidest quotes here. Trust me. If you run the chances it'll chase you down and kill you go up. No reason to be ignorant about that. This is common knowledge if you spend time in the outdoors around here, not an alternative fact. As far as train vs. educate goes... look it up. They are synonyms.
  • + 4
 @jshloger: I would never try to wrestle a lion...sounds like a good time to get a hound dog for a trail buddy...on another note...I might invest in loud hubs, even though I dislike them, just for the extra noise.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Please tell me where to get some chimp parts so I have a counter attack for the wild bores.
  • + 4
 @rcrdrvr: I hope I would channel my inner Nell Hamm. Google it. 71 year old woman saved her husband's life with a tree limb and a pen.
  • + 2
 @codypup: yesss...that shit gave me goose bumps...yep give it an arm if nothing else and fight like hell...no illegal moves here, just survival.......eye gouges, biting, everything unconventional! Old man and wife kicked some ass! Loved that bit about not letting go of the tongue and fingers up the nose!
www.sfgate.com/science/article/Couple-s-lesson-in-survival-from-07-cougar-attack-3658073.php
  • - 1
 @JoseBravo: bear spray will do nothing with big cats. You will not see them until they are on top of you.
  • + 2
 well said thoughts go out to the family of the affected riders
  • + 3
 @PNdubRider: Gnarly story for sure. Thanks for including it. I read this article early this morning on AP news. The guys in Seattle did not DO exactly what they were supposed to. At first they did, when they smacked the cougar with the bike but when they let their guard down and the cat came back for more, biting the first guy in the head, his buddy, SJ, should have fought off the cat. When he turned and ran, he was history. Running away is the worst thing that one can do. One has to stand their ground, make themselves appear huge and ferocious, throw shit at the animal and shout like a madman. I had to do this daily with grizzly bears while salmon fishing up in Alaska years ago. Thankfully, the bears wanted nothing to do with my skinny ass (at the time) and were happy with all the plentiful salmon. Still, it was unnerving seeing those big beasts saunter off slowly while looking back every so often. We are only guests in their habitat but very tragic for SJ's family. Be safe out there amigos.
  • + 1
 @PNdubRider: that’s a crazy story. I’ve read of them being fought off in numerous places. One of which was here in SoCal. Running is guarantied pursuit. Easy to say of course.
  • + 1
 Yep. No can do in SoCal of course. A weapon won’t probably help a sneak attack if you’re solo but your friend will have something to use other than nearby rocks and sticks. @Goof-ball:
  • + 0
 @jshloger: don't be rediculous, learn marksmanship with ur son. Protect your family.
  • + 1
 @FindDigRideRepeat: I'm not going to get into this debate, but you have your "facts" incorrect. Prey numbers are plummeting...in a healthy way. Similar to how the populations of bobcats and snowhsoe hares fluctuate relative to each other.
  • + 0
 @TightAF: Enough about you let's talk more bout you
  • + 6
 @cdmbmw: I do night rides in lion country pretty frequently, and I have a 6" fixed blade knife on one strap of my Camelbak, a can of bear spray on the other, and glow in the dark adhesive googly eyes on he back of my helmet.

Some day I'm going to crash and rupture my can of bear spray. That's gonna suck. I'll probably get eaten by a mountain lion while I'm down :/
  • - 1
 @hllclmbr:

fkn legendary! i love it!
  • + 1
 There was more to this story that PB had failed to re-hash, apparently the cyclist hit the cougar with their bike, the cougar then came back and attacked them! MTBikers are so miss informed as is, we don't more BS!
  • + 1
 @mm732: Thanks you, mine too
  • + 2
 @hllclmbr: You'll taste like spicy curry!
  • + 2
 @JoseBravo: with most wild animals in north america (except zoos, petting zoos, etc) noise and numbers are the best way to keep 'em away, sometimes though, things just happen.

bear spray won't work quite as well, as it is meant for bears
  • + 117
 If only he'd been carrying his own cougar, then he'd have been able to defend himself
  • - 20
flag slimboyjim (May 21, 2018 at 2:12) (Below Threshold)
 Ha ha! You win the competition for most intelligent joke/social comment...
  • - 16
flag TheRaven Plus (May 21, 2018 at 7:50) (Below Threshold)
 @chrish: Yeah. How many people have to die because of Cougars? When will it be enough?! We need to take action! Ban cougars!!
  • + 3
 Or a sacfricial goat...
  • + 2
 Kinda in poor taste when you consider someone died in this event
  • - 5
flag TheRaven Plus (May 22, 2018 at 8:14) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah. How many people have to die because of Cougars? When will it be enough?! We need to take action! Ban cougars!!
  • + 47
 Very sad for the victims and their families. My sincere condolences to the Brooks family. Hate to hear of this kind of event, and certainly wishing the Isaac Sederbaum a speedy recovery, as well.

To your point, however, @jclnv: a very rare occurrence. A sad situation all the way around. Pedal safely, folks, and respect what we're doing and where we're doing it...
  • + 38
 Cougars (the feline type) are an eerie presence in the forests. From everything I've heard, they may quietly stalk you for miles and if you're attacked, you'll probably not even see it coming. That makes it hard to draw bear spray, a knife, or even a gun in time to defend yourself. Think of how stealthy a pet cat is with catching birds. Now picture the cat 100+ pounds and on steroids.

But if you ever do see a cougar, it's probably best to put your bike between the cougar and you while you stand your ground. At least provide some sort of barrier between you and the animal that will also make you look larger and more threatening. Try not to run, as that will make you look like prey for them to chase.
  • + 99
 Sounds like pretty good advice for the homosapian kind of cougar as well.
  • - 6
flag btbsps (May 20, 2018 at 20:32) (Below Threshold)
 @thejake: thanks for the laugh lmao top right abs appeared due to your joke
  • + 1
 in this particular case they fought the thing and it kept right on coming. www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/05/cyclists_tried_to_scare_cougar.html
  • + 12
 I was on a river floating trip in Colorado, and our guide said that if you had hiked 10 times in that area you had been stalked by a cougar 7 times. Eerie indeed.
  • + 2
 i've had a couple of instances where i knew they were around. got lucky enough to see one from a distance on a local hiking trail. he was hanging out watching the meadow the trail goes through (that deer like to frequent). he walked away when we stopped to see if it was actually what we thought it was.
  • + 10
 Really, this is so incredibly rare that I would be more scared of a lightning strike. Cougars are beautiful animals, and very elusive. If you happen to see one in the wild, count yourself lucky for the experience. Statistically, they are not a threat to humans.
  • + 14
 @btbsps: Careful, get those things too toned and you'll have cougars pouncing on you from everywhere. Drink plenty of beer, I hear they hate Dad Bods.
  • + 3
 That probably saved my wife last year when she encountered one.
  • + 3
 In this case, even after they fought it one of the pair ran away and it attacked and killed him. So yes, they (and all big cats) always go for the kill when chasing prey from behind, rather than face to face.
  • + 8
 @hamncheez: not a threat to humans? You do understand animals don't actually know what a human is, right? Animals determine if another animal is prey based on the characteristics of the other animal and the current condition of itself. If the other animal is small or weak enough and/or the predator is desperate enough for food then any human is fair game. Unfortunately that final decision will be the mountain lion's, not the human's.
  • - 4
flag loodledoodle (May 21, 2018 at 1:31) (Below Threshold)
 "or even a gun"... yikes!
  • + 11
 @thesharkman: I said statistically they are not a threat. Cows kill more humans every year. Bees kill more humans. Dogs kill more humans. Hell, deer probably kill more people than cougars.
  • + 4
 They're on steroids?
  • + 5
 @hamncheez: having been charged by a cow after unexpectedly spooking it and its calf around a blind turn, I learned they are much more dangerous than one would expect... luckily they have no endurance and it was downhill to get away from it.
  • + 13
 I've been face to face with a mountain lion on an early morning ride. Walked out about 10 feet in front of me, stared me in the eyes for about 30 seconds, and then continued down the trail. I turned around and left. It's a very haunting experience, and for those 30 seconds, i don't think i moved a single muscle. 10/10 would not recommend.
  • + 2
 @sosburn: I bet your sphincter muscles moved quite a bit, filling your shorts with poo.
  • + 5
 @lightsgetdimmer: Honestly i wish it had, the horrible smell of my morning poops after many IPAs would have scared it off more quickly
  • + 2
 @GeeHad: Gotta be a Jersey Cougar than.
  • + 3
 I've got a 6" fixed blade knife on my left camelbak strap that's mounted tip up in a quick release sheath. I's specifically for stabbing mountain lions in the head while they're trying to bite through my neck (which is how they kill their prey).

Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't, but i'm going down fighting.
  • + 1
 @hllclmbr: Do you have any pics of what that sheath looks like?
  • + 1
 @hllclmbr: Thank you, that is nice. I'm completely ignorant of the knife world. Do you have any concerns whatsoever of being unintentionally stabbed by the knife during a crash? Wondering if a folding knife/switchblade would be safer or if the sheath is foolproof enough.
  • + 0
 @hllclmbr: Mine has a rape whistle. I guess I'll go down whistling?

Truth is they grab the back of your neck and shake you (trying to break your neck) and rake with their rear legs. Knife isn't likely going to help.
  • + 2
 @taletotell: It doesn't matter what you think isn't likely to help. It's better than having nothing but your fists on you like it appears with these two people.
  • + 1
 @NotAnotherClimb: Oh I agree it's better when fighting wild beasts to have a weapon. I just think that the chances of getting into a wild beast fight are pretty damn slim, added to that your chances of success with or without the knife are about the same, I suspect that when it comes to cougars, pumas, catamounts, and panthers, carrying a knife is about as helpful as carrying a whistle will be (useless), and a lot more of a pain in the a*s.

This cat was an anomaly. That being said, you are more likely to have to fight off another human so the presence of your knife is not all bad. Horror stories of running into psychos and meth cookers on rides are all too common.
  • + 2
 @NotAnotherClimb:

You really have to pull with authority to get the knife out of the sheath, and it just won't come out at all without disengaging the thumb lock. I'm not worried about it.
  • + 7
 @taletotell: Winning the lottery, getting hit by lighting, fighting a beast in the forest - they're all slim chances.

I got knocked off of my bike by lightning (can't explain the physics on that one) just a sudden flash and I was on the ground. My mouth tasted like aluminum foil.

I fended off a smallish black bear with my bike (smallish as in we were eye to eye when it stood up on its hind legs). I ended up hitting it in head with my chainring and then we both ran in opposite directions, and I vaulted a 6 foot fence without touching it.

So, myself and things in the wilderness get crazy on occasion, and I try to be prepared.
  • + 3
 @hllclmbr: I encountered a mother moose with its calf- that was scary. By the time I saw it we were 20 feet apart- I got off my bike and lifted it over my head, screaming. My plan was to throw it at the moose if it charged and then sprint out of the meadow for a tree and climb. Luckily, the moose just ignored me and wandered back down to the stream with its calf.
  • + 4
 @hamncheez: I worked as a bike guide in the Snowy Range of Wyoming several years ago. Moose were VERY common there, and by far my number one "do not want to piss off" wild animal.
  • + 1
 @hllclmbr:
If I could put this post on a pillow in needlepoint I would; words to live by, it's hilarious and damn informative.
  • + 1
 But would an air horn/ blank or bear spray work better than a gun or knife in a defensive situation? They do for some animals. I'm not going to do the testing but it would be interesting to know.
  • + 30
 Damn. Rough. Condolences to all the friends and family. I had a run in with a Cougar on a night ride outside Boulder in 1997. Relaxing in the back of my truck after the ride.. no one else in the parking lot. I had to beat the damn cat back by tossing water bottles at it. When I told the rangers, they said that the cat was shaking down cyclists a few times in the last week. Eventually I think the relocated it. Nuts though. My Spidey sense told me something was up and thankfully I sat up from my chillaxed state in the bed of my truck just in time before the Cougar got on me. Took about a week for the hair on my neck to chill out. Wild. I bet we're all watched by curious cats more than we'd like to know. Makes us ride faster I guess.
  • + 12
 I probably climb a lot faster than normal when I'm on a remote forest road by myself.
  • + 2
 Had a run in with a cougar out at Walker Ranch back in ‘97. Scariest trail incident of my life
  • + 3
 @MuskratMatt: Damn dude - I was at Walker too. Was probably the same cat. Were you the other guy the Rangers were telling me about? They said you had to walk backward with your bike between you and the cat and that at one point you had to hit the cat with your front wheel?
  • + 1
 @MuskratMatt: The rangers at Walker have been tweeting about lots of cat sightings this spring and to keep an eye out, keep pets on leash, and avoid the area after dark.
  • - 1
 wow...that is crazy!2 month ago I almost run over a squirrel who was running off a few hunting dogs...it run between my wheels,it was so fast I can´t do anything.That squirrel run behind us to find cover,very clever. I think I wont be able to ride those trails knowing that...In my area you only must watch not running over a cow when it is hot an they are on the trails looking for shadow...
  • + 2
 Plenty of them this year... 3 were sighted walking in town.
I know at walker, left hand, Jamestown, ward, etc, they’re watching. Any of the less traveled trails, they know you’re there. Lucky for us, they have plenty of food.
  • + 3
 @gravitytoy & @ MsukratMatt: In 1997 a group of 10 of us had to fight off a lion about 1 mile from Walker Ranch in Boulder, riding the aqueduct trail that pops out on the top of Flagstaff. It was walking toward a female rider at the back of our group, we had to throw rocks and sticks at it to make it run off. Really it just sauntered off. The 3 of us must have all fought the same lion. Crazy we find out now, no Facebook or Pinkbike group back then. Glad it never got anyone...
  • + 26
 Do you riders in cat country wear masks attached to your backs or backpacks? People from the Sunderbans in India have been doing this for centuries to confuse tigers to make them think they are being watched by their human prey. Worth trying since a deterrent may be more effective than trying to fish out spray or a weapon of some sort. By then it might be too late...

Awful news and my condolences to the victim's friend and family.
  • + 3
 Thanks for the tip. Seems like a set it and forget it thing so I'll definitely give it a go.
  • + 5
 Stickers of eyes on back of helmet.
  • + 23
 Most likely an old and starving cougar unable to hunt and in a desperate situation. We love mountain biking because it takes us a bit closer to the beauty of nature even just for a weekend. But sometimes, nature can be brutal and harsh. This is a very sad event but I hope there won't be a vengeful backlash to the area's cougar population. I'm pretty sure even the victims would feel the same way.
  • + 5
 He was a young male I hear.
  • + 2
 Three years old.
  • + 2
 We look like prey.
  • + 3
 King County sheriff's Sgt. Ryan Abbott said, "They did everything they were supposed to do," Abbott said Sunday. "But something was wrong with this cougar."
  • + 1
 @lukehmail: really? I havent read that
  • + 2
 Cougars are probably the most successful cat on Earth and one of the Western Hemispheres most widespread mammals. They adapt and survive, always finding a meal. Its a small risk, but a risk nevertheless.
  • - 11
flag Pinemtn (May 20, 2018 at 23:12) (Below Threshold)
 Kuz global warming. Bad things wouldn’t happen if we could just fix climate change. The earth doesn’t know what it’s doing.
  • + 3
 @taletotell: not everything. Unfortunately, the one ran into the forest. You can't run with a cougar around. That's a bad idea. So sad.
  • + 1
 @taletotell: we are prey.
  • + 1
 @Pinemtn: Good job politicizing a cougar attack. I assume youre leading towards blaming trump for this.
  • + 4
 @ if trumps sons would quit murdering innocent triceratops maybe we could stop them from going extinct just for their sick pleasures of killing for trophy.
  • + 3
 @Pinemtn: Berkeley student?
  • + 13
 The day after I got stalked by a 130-150 lb cat. I always carry a loaded composite .380 on my hip. I’ve heard the comments and whispers from other bikers on the trail ,about my pistol. And I don’t care. Until you have seen one and been stalked by one you have no clue. I have respect for apex predators.
  • + 0
 Anti gunners often mean well, but im not goin too deep into the wild with them.
  • + 1
 True that. I've had one stalk us into camp and was within about 10m of our location. Thanks to the fire and our 300 lumen headlamps, we scared it off when it was getting ready to pounce. We heard it for about an hour as it slowly slinked up to our camp, but we assumed it was just squirrels. I ride in the same area and am strapped all the time
  • - 1
 You're pretty apt to show the air, soil, and vegetation who's boss, if you can even get it out in time, or see it coming, since lions attack from behind.
  • + 10
 The raging river opening ceremony was about 4 miles away during this incident. Hundreds of bikers in the area and on each ride I see some sort of evidence of cats. Top of Olallie, Hansen Ridge, anywhere in the state really there are big cats. Brings it home that I and all my friends were out there Saturday and could have easily been one of us. The area it happened is a big draw for gravel bikes with hundreds of miles of interchanged access roads. The fact that the cat took the victim to its den made it that much impactful, apparently it nestled down just off the road so who knows how many bikers have been in it’s crosshairs recently ...
  • + 3
 I’ve ridden that road recently on my cross bike and for some odd reason had my spider senses go off while in that same area. Also have a good friend who lives directly across the river and let’s her kids wander in the woods and is now thinking twice about such. Scary for sure. Definitely signs of them everywhere. See scat almost every time I’m out, and had prints show up overnight less than 10ft from my tent up on the middle fork.
  • + 2
 Same. Slightly creepy... Same time, minutes away, and no clue. I even rode over fresh scat on one trail.
  • + 2
 I got news of this while out at the Raging Grand opening as well. It definitely gives you some pause and thought on what steps one can take to mitigate the risk of predatory animals such as our mountain lions
  • - 1
 "99.9% of all of all predators, human or animal will flee after an ordinance of various caliber is propelled into the air mitigating the need of any life loss." -Ted Nugent
  • + 1
 @fecalmaster: Ted Nugent is a f*cking moron
  • - 1
 That's the most intelligent rebuttal you have ever heard in my life. Happy Congratulations tooooo yoooo!
  • + 4
 @fecalmaster: Wasn't making any sort of rebuttal.
  • - 2
 Listen I'm not into that kinky stuff so ease up wheel up
  • + 8
 Washington outlawed hunting lions with hounds in 96. The young male's are often driven out of any sustainable territory by older male lions and become more desperate with an increase in potential for human and domestic animal contacts. Though the fatalities are rare, attacks have increased in areas where there is no hunting ie California. Most victims are children. Both lions and bears that have attacked or have shown aggression toward humans have to be eliminated due to their propensity to re-offend. Contrary to what some say, mountain lions are not in any way endangered.
  • + 0
 And as eluded to, the cougar population is essentially controlled by how many adult males are around.
  • + 2
 How did the deer population drop since this outlaw? I understand its damn near impossible to hunt them without hounds.
  • + 7
 I was at the raging ridge trail opening event, just a few miles away, when I heard about this.
I was a bit shocked, but my buddy put it in perspective. He said "I drive up and down I-5 through Seattle everyday, and see people dead in car wrecks all the time".
My heart goes out to these two men, and their friends and family. They met with a highly unlikely fate.
  • + 6
 Oh wow. Love me some wild animals but to everyone saying bear spray is the solution you're wrong.

If a bear, or a shark, or a mountain lion, etc. becomes accustomed to or even accepts the ideaof hunting people as prey it has to die. Literally slash the motherf*ckers throat or risk dying.

Why? Because scaring off a cougar that is attacking people just means there's going to be another attack. Potentially a child on the same trail with their family. Potentially you smugly riding along with your little can of pretend protection.

Super rare, blah, blah, blah all nonsense aside my condolences to the riders friends and family. What a crappy thing to have happen.
  • + 0
 I agree with most of your points. The bear spray especially. It’s not an accurate weapon it can blow back like the gas in ww1 right back in your face. It’s also not always as effective as it seems there are several types some of which aren’t legal in many places. We had an accident in my buddy’s shed involving a can of bear spray a carelessly tossed cleaning pick and three people trying to three stuges out of a 5x6 area Me and his girl got the worst of it but we both still could have fought back someone we were all startled by how ineffective it was and reconsidered its use. My best guess would be a good knife if your opposed to guns I say that because if it’s charging you bear mace is too late. And for those considering caring it on the outside of a bag be aware if you go over the bars in a rocky area and you have bear mace next to your face it’s pressurized and your just seasoning yourself.
  • + 2
 There are multiple vidoes online of people repelling cougars with bear spray. They would be dead of they lived by your guidance
  • + 1
 @loganflores: That's because bear spray does not affect humans like it does bears. Mace that police and others use is far stronger, but that much strength is unnecessary for bears.
  • + 1
 @huntstyle: interesting learn something new every day. I looked into it and you seem to be right but there is completely opposite info all over the web as well looked all around and got the feeling that if it is weaker it’s for legal and epa reasons. then jumped on Wikipedia and it totally contradicted other articles. of the places I looked it was a weird split
  • + 5
 Everyone should be aware. If a cougar attacks you fight back, the both of you, that’s your chance. Do not run....
Ride with pepper spray or bear spray
Ride with a knife
Noise makers
Be aware because those animals are guess what animals and will do what animals do to stay alive.
  • + 5
 Uggh, terrible to hear this. Do folks riding in this area carry pepper or "bear spray" type of products often? I'd have to assume they would work on a cougar also. Makes me re-think if I should just assume I'll never have an issue with a bear here in the northeast. We have domestic dog issues often, but those are never "life or death" so most people don't carry anything.
  • + 10
 I'd be more worried about running into a fat deer on the trail here in the NE. Give us some cougars to kill these motherfuckin deer that don't give a shit.
  • + 3
 I live just a few miles away and I've never heard of anyone caring anything other than a small pocket knife. Extremely rare scenario.
  • + 4
 I live in northern Arizona, and frequently carry a pistol on me at night. I also ride with bear mace and loud whistle. My added weight isn't unwarranted in my opinion. I've had a cougar crouched on the edge of our camp, and see tracks regularly
  • + 2
 @chazistic: It was just the other week here in Indiana I was cruising on a bike path at 20 and had to grab a handful of brakes as a set of 3 deer ran out and crossed right in front of me. Run into them (not literally) all the time on our mtb trails in a park middle of the city.
  • + 4
 This is so tragic. Thoughts with the family of the deceased fellow shredder. Seems like these guys were just very unlucky given that the gravel roads and mtb trails in the area are heavily trodden by cyclists. The nature is wild and scary. Reminds me of the time we got chased by a giant moose out riding in Monarch Crest.
  • + 4
 Condolences to the family , very tragic. While I haven't faced off against a Mountain Lion , I was chased down by a pack of wild dogs on a solo ride in Jungle, I luckily managed to make an escape while setting a PB down the section of trail, not so luckily probably due to some bad line choices I managed to get flat. While trying to set another PB for the quickest tube change ever as I could hear the dogs coming again I questioned my decision to not run tubeless. As I could hear the Dogs getting closer I thought I was going to have to fight them off and the only thing I managed to find was a few rocks and a large stick to act a club. I am sure many will say how they will act in this sort of scenario, however, when on your own it's a different story. Quite frankly I was shitting myself. I managed to sort the flat and get the fuck out of there thankfully. While in no way do I compare it to being chased down by a Cougar or a bear it does make for a funny story to why I choose to run tubeless.
  • + 4
 That sucks! You never know until you're in the moment, but if it was my riding partner I would like to think I'd be fighting that thing off of my buddy! When me and my brother ride remote/backcountry stuff, one of us is carry an ultralight .357...you never know when you'll see a bear, a cougar, or someone who wants to kill you.
  • - 6
flag onemind123 (May 20, 2018 at 19:26) (Below Threshold)
 This. If one of my riding buddies is attacked by anything I sure as he'll am not retreating into the woods - I be using my bike as a weapon to defend as much as possible. Such a terrible tragedy. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
  • + 34
 @onemind123: easy to say when youre not in the situation :/
  • + 2
 @ybsurf: truth. Wish people could realize situations like this are not some bear grylls fantasy camp. Or however you spell that jackasses name.
  • - 1
 For perspective cougars are often over 150 pounds and their head will be stomach to chest height. If a cougar decides to attack you, you're not fighting it off.
  • + 16
 @friendlyfoe: if a mountain lions head is at my chest height, I would probably be wondering how I wound up in Africa
  • - 1
 @friendlyfoe: that’s why these guys died, sounds like you would be dead too.
  • + 2
 LoL I've actually seen one of these things cross the road about 50 meters ahead of my car. Only had it in sight for 2 seconds and it was definitely the biggest predator I've seen without a cage between us. If you haven't seen one in real life you have no idea.
  • + 3
 Google says up to 3 feet at the shoulder, which is easily 4 feet to the top of the head. At 140-150 lbs I wish you the best of luck!
  • + 14
 @friendlyfoe: I’ve seen a cougar in person. I’m not saying I want to fight a cougar but if you give up your dead. All the info on cougar attacks says fight back. And leaving someone while they are being attacked is never the right move. Leaving your friend to call search and rescue once they are safe is one thing what ever the accident is is ok. Leaving someone in a critical state is almost always the wrong decision.
  • + 0
 @friendlyfoe: that’s one jank looking cougar if he head is a foot above his shoulders lol
  • + 3
 @friendlyfoe: I had one cross the trail right in front of me while riding luckily down hill. It was so big i thought it was a deer untill it turned it's head sideways. Terrifying to say the least, that guy did not look happy to see me and I rode as fast as possible the rest of the way down. Cool to see in the end though.
  • + 11
 I live and play in central Washington near Ellensburg. I have had 3 goats attacked by cougars in the last year. 2 died. I shot both of the cats with a goat in their mouth. I’m not a trophy hunter and don’t have an interest in hunting one.. I have small children. I’m not messing around. I have always thought cougars were amazing creatures, and how lucky we are to live in a place wild enough to have them. But as the state biologist told me. “They (cougars) are soulless killing machines and are very good at it.” Until I picked up a 130 cat I had no idea how strong they are. If your in their sites your screwed.
  • - 2
 @chileconqueso: did you eat them? It would be a shame to waste that meat.
  • + 12
 No the state took it. If I had bought a hunting tag I could have kept it. With livestock damage a claim can be made with the state for reimbursement. I didn’t ask for anything. But when the fish and game depart mead notified I had to surrender the carcass. They so dna testing and a basic autopsy. The first one was a 130 lb Tom. 2 years old. Beautiful creature, I’m sad it ended the way it did. @jaame:
  • + 21
 @chileconqueso: If a cougar is soul-less because it hunts to live, magine what other animals must think of us.
  • + 8
 @cdmbmw: I believe "soul-less" is an anthropomorphic way of describing something without remorse. To be fair no animals really have remorse but many look at us and go meh you're not food. Everything is food to a cougar.
  • + 1
 @friendlyfoe: Ah fair enough. Not wording I agree with, but I understand.
  • + 4
 @cdmbmw: I would not want to be out rising in those woods. One great thing about the UK, other than the weather, is that it's completely safe to go anywhere at any time without fear of being eaten by another animal. No sharks, no big cats, wolves or venomous snakes.
  • - 9
flag thesharkman (May 21, 2018 at 1:10) (Below Threshold)
 If a buddy were attacked I would use that chance to get away. If I were attacked first then I'd expect my buddy to do the same. Staying rational means one person dies instead of two.
  • + 5
 @thesharkman: it's not a bar fight
  • + 4
 @VwHarman: I often get mistaken for Bear Grylls, maybe I should stop drinking my own piss...
  • + 1
 @jaame: Got to becareful of those adders round here, some Darwin award candidate got bit last year after trying to catch one at the local trail centre.
  • + 1
 @fatduke: is that in Cornwall?
  • + 3
 @jaame: Just a hypodermic needle in your face when you fall off ae mate.
  • + 1
 @chileconqueso: Very sad to have to do this, Is this an area where the Couger/Prey numbers are out of balance?
  • + 8
 I’m sure they are ashamed of us. They hunt to survive. I’m not mad at them for being cougars. My goats are easy targets. We are considering getting rid of them because we can’t keep them safe and it’s not my place to shoot predators, they live here too. Trying to explain that to a 3 and 5 year old has been the hardest part. They saw More than they should have. @cdmbmw:
  • + 2
 Wild fires and more people have really impacted their habitat. Lots of locals blame the state for changing the hunting rules. The more I talk other locals what happened to us isn’t a isolated incident. @TobiasHandcock:
  • + 1
 @jaame: Naaaah Yorkshire moors.
  • + 1
 Agreed. We can't predict how we would act in a challenging and super scary situation like this but I would like to think that my instincts seeing my riding friend dragged into the woods by a big cat would not be to leave them and ride out of there. I'd run at the cat screaming and yelling and throwing everything I could at it.
  • + 3
 @jaame: Cougar country is literally the best riding in the world. People from all over the world come to cougar country to ride.
  • + 4
 @thesharkman:

and this is why you have no friends.

but for serious..... might be interesting to know how many attacks resulted in fatalities vs cougar backing off. i'd wager most of us would join the fight as opposed to saying:

"Hey Bill..... we'll.... uh.... wait for you back at the car. Um..... good luck with that."
  • + 1
 @TobiasHandcock: Haha and a used condom alongside a junkies turd with cigarette butts for added flavour!
  • + 1
 @thejake: look up 60 year old man kills cougar with knife several other story’s including a woman with a kitchen knife in 94 not saying it’s likley that the average person could do this but it’s not unheard of it’s better than nothing you shouldn’t be back country without a decent knife if you don’t fight a cougar they are still extremely useful for lots of other crap.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: mick fanning fought off a shark by punching and kicking it. It can be done.
  • + 2
 @loganflores: "even if you don't fight a cougar" is my favourite thing from today.
  • + 3
 I live and ride in southern California and have seen a few of Mountain Lions. I ride Whiting Ranch, where Mark Reynolds was killed, weekly.

My scariest encounter was on a night hike, was just walking along with friends being loud for that very reason and 30 feet away we see those eyes reflecting back from 15 feet up in an oak tree overhanging the trail. They have an eerie presence for sure, and have no right being that big, strong, and quiet. They hunt from the trees by dropping onto their prey, then kill it and drag it back up the tree. If you actually see one it’s because it allowed you to, you didn’t sneak up on it.

For everyone saying bear mace, it wouldn’t hurt; but bear mace spray range is 15-20 feet, and Cougars can leap 40 feet while sprinting. Mace will only help if you see it coming.

It sounds like they did everything they could, and that Cougar had it out for them. You have to remember you’re not always the apex predator in the area.
  • + 3
 It is rare even seeing a cougar. I've worked for parks in Alberta and BC for about 9 yrs and have only ever seen two and those were split second encounters. This encounter is extremely rare but does show that when you see a cat to turn and face it as they originally did. Biking can be tough cause we're so focused on going forward at speed. My advice I guess would be that if you know a cougar is in the area to finish your ride and notify a CO/ Park Ranger about its location. Condolences to the Brooks families, I can't imagine what it's like losing someone.
  • + 1
 Was in my car and saw a big one cross the road in anmore just north of Port moody. They're everywhere. Living in Penticton now but when Im alone on the trails I definitely spend a lot of time looking over my shoulder
  • + 2
 Unfortunately not around here. Sightings have been very frequent recently, with 2 friends saying they’ve seen one within the last month.
  • + 1
 @mtnbykr05: Got to think it's a matter of us encroaching on their territory. Where I saw one was a residential area but on the outskirts of the suburbs well within the foothills of the mountains. Human pets are pretty easy hunting for them.
  • + 9
 Rare for you to see a cougar. Not rare for a cougar to see you.
  • + 3
 We ride in a Cougar populated area. Best thing to do is obviously, make noise and such, however:

Look where the cat is going. If it is *determined* to go your way, you are between it and its cubs or cache. 'Food storage'
It will see you as a threat to its stuff/cubs. Circle away from its path with your bike between you and it. See if its path changes.

Make *SURE* you make noises that CANNOT be mistaken for animal noises. Don't growl, hiss, bark or what not at the cat. Talk LOUDLY to it with varying words and sentences. Try NOT to repeat yourself over and over.

UN-Naturally patterned gear helps make you not look like prey as well as they only see muted colors.

Do *NOT* turn your back or ride off until you cannot see that cat anymore.

IF the cat should attack, go for its eyes, under the ribs/throat. They'll get you on your back, or get you from behind. They're prime place to blow is the neck. Cover neck with your hands, elbows and donkey kick.

Its very very very rare to have happen and is a tragedy to this biker and his Family. Frown
  • + 5
 I could say alot but Id probably come across as an asshole so I'll just say this is tragic all the way around. Stay safe and aware fellow mtb'ers
  • + 6
 As an avid night rider I am always worried about this. Especially in the fall.
  • + 2
 I encountered one (that I know of) while night riding in CO in the fall, I don't night ride solo anymore and I was very thankful I did not that night!
  • + 4
 Crazy story when i was in California i saw multiple mountain lion warning signs they had me wondering what i would do. The answer of course is nothing the big cat would brutalize me. I still rode but damn
  • + 5
 I'm confused, they say mountain biker but the video shows the cop putting an old school 10 speed road bike into back of his truck?
  • + 5
 News report probably says mountain bike. Can’t expect a reporter to know the difference between a mountain biker and a biker in the mountains. Also, hardly the important part of the story I would imagine.
  • + 3
 There's a bit of confusion about this, but most news sources out here are saying they were on road or gravel bikes and not mountain biking. Not that it really matters.
  • + 3
 They were on the gravel road on “mountain bikes”. Many riders in the Snoqualmie National Forest ride dozens of miles out there, it’s deep.
  • + 3
 I'm sorry to hear about this fatality. Anyone who rides the PNW regularly thinks about how many times a cougar has sat there looking down at us biking by figuring "I'm doing this one...ah f*ck it - I'll just pop into town for some dog or kitten instead". I've only seen two of these majestic creatures eye to eye in the wild, but I know they are everywhere.
  • + 1
 Two? I have seen evidence of them, but fortunately never actually seen one in the wild.
  • + 1
 @onemind123: there's a few around the cove.
  • + 2
 Some thoughtful and some less thoughtful posts on this topic. Its sort of funny how concerned we are with the threat posed by animal predators while mountain biking. I have to imagine that if you look at the statistics you are much more likely to be attacked and injured or maybe killed by another person almost anywhere. It is really sad that this person was killed by the cougar, but as several people pointed out the cougar was emaciated and therefore probably sick and desperate. A cougar attack on a person is almost always predatory (unlike bears which may simply be exerting territorial dominance or protecting cubs) and cougars but this means a healthy cougar will almost never attack an adult human. Cougars are powerful predators but they also avoid attacking in situations where there will be a major struggle because any injury to the cougar that slows them down means they will probably starve before they heal. In general with cougars one should avoid running or turning your back and fight with whatever you have (even if its hard not to run).
Bear spray could be effective in a situation where you saw the cougar coming (like this one) but cougars like to attack by surprise and are very fast.
Probably the most important advice is if you actually know there are cougars in the area to keep a very close eye on children and dogs as they are far more likely targets.
Carrying a gun is probably a waste of effort unless it helps your testosterone level which will probably help build muscles while riding.
I guess the thing to remember is how much less danger you are in from animals while mountain biking than from head injury while riding or vehicle related injury getting to and from the trail. I do love seeing the bears and cougars (never seen a wolf while riding although there are lots where I live) so I am happy to share the woods with them. There is always a risk but its small comparative to many things we do and honestly I have seen both my father and grandfather die from workplace hazard related lung cancer and while being killed and eaten would suck and at least it would be over pretty quick.
  • + 2
 Never seen a cougar while riding, but did see very fresh prints in the middle of the trail once. I'd kinda like to see one, but it'd also be scary. My plan is to get off the bike and put it in front of me so I could use it as a weapon if attacked. I've seen a ton of black bears while riding, and they don't seem particularly threatening or scary even though they attack people on rare occasions, but cougars seem a lot scarier.
  • + 2
 Don't wait for the cogar to attack you. Throw rocks at it, grab a stick as a club, be confrontational and show it you're not prey. Growing up in cogar country I deal with them a lot. Simply yelling at them isn't as good as going on the offensive right away.
  • + 3
 My friend got in a funny confrontation with a Couger when he was out. She dragged him back to her den and did him in. He drives her Mercedes Benz around town now and has shacked up at her place! .
  • + 2
 Some local miscreant popped open the game camera on our local and took the SD card. It was motion activated, he grabbed upwards of 15 different cats setting it off. Ive personally seen them scurrying away. But the camera roll from the game cam is creepy
  • + 5
 They were actually gravel riders and not mountain bikers. However still unfortunate that this happened.
  • + 2
 Tragic and genuinely sorry for the ones involved. I had a run in with a cougar once, it was the scariest moment of my life. It stocked me late into the night as I was walking down a dark, deserted trail by myself, mostly unaware of my surroundings. It probably followed me for a good few miles, until I noticed it peering at me from behind a tree on the trail only 10 feet away, by a random stoke of luck, my headlamp hit it right in the eyes and they reflected back at me. I froze at first but then got up the courage to yell at it and waved my arms around, but it came at me and pounced on me. It tackled me knocking me down with an impressive amount of force and tried to have it's way with me, slapping me around and trying to rip off my pants off. At the last moment I ditched my pants and left them as tribute to the cougar and ran as fast as I could. They always say don't run, but it was one of those times when pure primal instinct took over. I woke up the next morning in a bush miles from my camp with no recollection of what happened other than that vivid memory and the scrapes and scratches from my encounter. Be safe out there friends.
  • + 3
 So speaking of making Loud noises, ect..What about carrying one of the air horn canisters..? They are very loud. I have no experience in scaring off big predatory animals, so not sure if that would have any effect..?
  • + 2
 Cougars/mountain lions help control the deer population, thereby reducing the tick population and the risk of humans getting Lyme disease. It’s tragic what happened to these riders, but I just thought that should be mentioned while I’m sure a lot of people are thinking that predatory animals are objectively bad and should be eradicated.
  • + 2
 I'm disappointed reading all of these armchair experts' opinions on ecology. Quite frankly, what your keyboard advice on engineering is doesn't matter. What your keyboard advice on ecological matters is unfortunately makes its way to our government and screws us over. If you aren't an ecologist, please do research before spouting your anecdotal idiocy. Thank you.
  • + 2
 Damn! Do some night rides around here, on a mountain known to have lions on it, and never really think twice about it. I will now though. Never ride solo but think I'll try to be first one down the trail instead of second from now on. Ha, not funny Frown Condolences to both victims and their families and friends
  • + 2
 The thought of squaring up against a 100lb+ cat is terrifying. I don't blame the guy for running, specially after they had already fought it off once. Urban sprawl/encroachment, and probably global warning all play into this a bunch of other factors I'm sure. Terrible situation all the way around and while I'd love to ride and live close to awesome places like this, it's sobering thought the risks that we take in this activity.
  • + 2
 Terribly unfortunate incident. Running from a large predator such as a Cougar or a bear will trigger an instinctive response to attack the prey. Use your bike as a barrier and yell with authority. Same applies to dangerous dogs which are a much more common threat.
  • + 2
 Sorry to hear the loss of a fellow mountain biker. Personally if I go riding by myself in the deep forest I always carry my 40 with hollow points.I is the deep forest and you never know what you might roll up to. I have confronted a few bears but always made sure to keep my distance. Such a tragic loss. But that is what happens do to humans urban sprawl and us making there areas smaller and smaller.
  • + 4
 His friend should not have run off, triggers the cat's instincts. He should have try to fight off the cat when it attacked a second time. Very very sad.
  • + 1
 There was a sighting of a Mt lion not too long ago here in eastern PA near where I live. They're not common here but this story makes it real that we are taking risks with wild life. Enjoy the woods and wilderness but please be aware and try not to make much of an impact. Sorry to hear about this man being killed while out riding. My condolences to the family.
  • + 1
 Where in eastern PA are you? I'm in SE PA, but ride in the Poconos often, sometimes solo.
  • + 1
 Nothing to do with both attackes riders but humans also sometimes aren't the smartest. Few weeks ago in the netherlands a french family got out of a car with their kids in a safaripark to see the jaguars. Luckely no harm was done.

youtu.be/Fgx74DIrLZI
  • + 1
 You can see in the video how the family gets back in the car drive a few yards, followed by the jaguars get back out of the car and almost attacked. If that would of happend the animals would of been laid down for tasting human blood. This happenend with a german couple who commited suicide in a safaripark and the lions were killed.
  • + 2
 @Dutchmorgan: That's scary man. Some people are just stupid...
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: I'm pretty sure they are cheetahs in the video, not jaguars. Jaguars are much bigger and more muscular, and they are solitary. Cheetahs do not eat humans. It's still an awesome video, and I would love to know what's being said. I mean, I can understand Jesus Christ and WTF, but all the other stuff. That family, what a bunch of idiots.
  • + 1
 Was on a night ride last fall, about 1” of fresh snow on the trail. Ride the same trail again the next morning and there was some large cougar tracks pacing our tire mark from the night before. Thankfully wasn’t alone that night.

Condolences to all involved, it’s hard to be prepared for that kind of situation.
  • + 1
 Just pack some heat just in case, bear spray can work but when cougars can leap 40 feet I'd rather have something loud to scare it off, not something closer to a squirt gun than a weapon. I feel like being a mt biker and a conservative is the rarest thing these days. So many of the mt bikers get brain washed into the liberal "ways" BTW the pollutants put out by the production of a mt bike isn't any less than what a running dirt bike puts out after. There is no way around NOT polluting the earth. Like the ones that will be leaving the hate comments. You're using a computer or cellphone to leave a comment. More pollutants put out in the production of the battery's in a phone/computer than a lawn mower or how about to charge one of those bad boys, what energy you using? "oh, its clean energy from a windmill!" well you know how many pollutants were put out by the production of that? EXACTLY. If YOU really wanted to be green (tree-hugger) you would live out in the forest naked with no hobbies, and you can't kill plants and animals. So how you gonna eat and build shelter. Well I hope you see the point that I'm getting at and if you don't I guess you're are just blind to the facts
  • + 1
 Who put 5pence in you and set you off???
  • + 1
 Very sad news but seriously, I think there's more risk of being killed going to school in USA than by a cougar! Happy to live here in Quebec, Canada, even if we don't have big mountains. Yes it is cold in winter but we don't have grizzlies, cougars, tornados, hurricanes, deadly spiders, crocodiles, etc.
  • + 1
 This is a real threat to think about and with population overload of humans nature will adapt and move. I live on the east coast and game wardens swear there is no such thing as MT lions. I swear they say this so they don’t have to deal with it. As I have personally seen several with my own eyes in North Conway, I also have neighbors that have video of a massive cat dragging deer past their game camera, submitted it to the warden services and they commented that it could have been footage from anywhere. Local riding I don’t worry about but when I go to areas that are remote and out there I always carry a fire arm and more for the purpose to scare not wound.
  • + 1
 These comments. Sheesh. I have been biking most of my life. I am a surveyor and have worked on many remote projects that when the helicopter leaves it's just me, my assistant and nature. On the west coast most animals will never attack a human as prey unless there is something wrong with the animal (which sounds like it was the case here). There is such an abundance of food for them. Generally an attack is due to feeling threatened. Best think cyclists can do is make noise as you ride so you can avoid sneaking up on animals.

This is a very sad story and thankfully not a common story.
  • + 1
 Here in the pyranees the reintroduced the brown bear like 25 years ago and no attacks on humans as far as i know. These animals are on the endangered species list and can't be shot. I wonder in case of a attack on a human would the animal be tracked down and killed, having a law saying you can't shoot bears.
  • + 1
 Very sad news. It would be interesting to know if there are things people could do to help put them off stalking, like making more noise (that works for bears sometimes) or wearing particular colours? Maybe the mask on the back of the head like the Indians have for tigers?
  • + 1
 Very sorry to hear so but it is the cougars habitat being invaded and the humans are not on top of the foodchain. Over here in europe al the big wild has been exterminated except for some bears and wolves in some remote parts of europe. How about vancouver island which has q realy high amount of cougars. Any attacks? Does it realy work to wear a hat with eyes on the back can this be done on a helmet? Or is it just a myth?
  • + 3
 Tragic for all involved, sure. What this reminds me a lot of the whole surfer VS shark debate... Who's habitat are we playing in?
  • + 4
 As a West Australian who both rides and surf the similarities between this and a shark attack is a stark reminder of the risk we face following a sport we love. Here we get reminders that we are more likely to get killed driving to the beach than being eaten by a shark , but it doesn’t detract that the risk of interaction with wildlife is real and increasing. It is something we don't like to think about but accept every time we enter the environment. Condolence to the rider's family and friend.
  • + 5
 I am always cautious of Drop Bears when riding around Bundaberg. Those things can get a bit wild and cause a bit of damage.
  • + 1
 Yeah I mean srsly... you’re the person invading the cougars space- and as tough as some people think they are, they will be dead at the first bite.

Being in the woods always come at a specific danger- just be prepared.
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: damn. Or fall of your bike and get bitten by some nasty snake. Could happen anywhere. So apart from bearspray,guns and wistles and horns, best off bringing also snake bite serum in my allready heavy IFAK.
  • + 1
 My wife had a cougar encounter last year while riding in North Vancouver. It pursued her until she stopped, picked up her bike and started screaming at it. Fortunately after a few minutes it took off. She got out of the trail as quick as she could and warned a couple hikers about it. They didn't seem too concerned and headed into the woods.
  • + 4
 Legit terrible though. Sorry for losing your homey on the trail. Not coming home is never the plan.
  • + 1
 Conceal carry, there's a lot of crazy and mountain lions in Santa Cruz Mountains. In Downieville couple years back, ran into a mountain lion, there was backpacker attacked in their tent same weekend!
  • + 2
 It is amazing what a Glock 9mm Model 43 can do with a LeHigh Penetration bullet on a Cat ,Pit or Bear. Carry Concealed ,or take the chance of being food.
  • + 2
 What is troubling is that these guys did not stand up for each other. One ran then another one ran according to cbc. This each one for oneself is very disheartening for me
  • + 1
 So, so sad! Grateful they caught the cat to avoid other attacks. Does anybody have a bio on S.J. Brooks? When we lose a fellow rider it’s like losing a family member. Peace to his family!
  • + 2
 @boxxerace: I could be wrong, but the individual may have identified as "trans" or "non-binary". They were part of a local group called Friends on Bikes. You can read more about that group, and SJ here: friendsonbikes.com
  • + 2
 @boxxerace: thanks. I hope her family can find some peace that she was making a difference in people’s lives. Tragic.
  • + 2
 @ajax17: thanks!
  • + 4
 Articles like this, and a few others here must have the comments locked.
  • + 3
 Yeah, I'm about with you there. Maybe not locked, as that would prevent all the condolences. Better moderating to deal with the stupid comments/jokes would be nice though.
  • + 2
 @mtbikeaddict: we definitely don't need more censorship
  • + 4
 Maybe he shoulda got his buddie's back instead of running away?
  • + 1
 Not sure if it makes a difference, but they were not "mountain biking" as reported in the news

They were on road bikes on dirt roads

www.kiro7.com/video?videoId=753867643&videoVersion=1.0
  • + 2
 The eastern cougar is alive and well in west quebec/eastern ontario again but you're still more likely to get killed by a moose crossing the highway at night around here.
  • + 1
 OK, so they killed the cougar because that one was just doing his shopping. Imagine a world where each animal would take revenge against mankind each time an animal is killed by a human....
  • + 2
 This was freaky just to watch... can't imagine what the guy went through. Kept his cool that's for sure...

youtu.be/d4FbHzeCJjM
  • + 2
 PB should take a minute before re-hashing and news! It’s seems there’s a lot more to this story! Like the cyclist smacking the cougar with his bike! But didn’t work!!
  • + 1
 Seen 2 in the past month here in the Santa Cruz mtns! One walking down the street just after dark, the other chilling in a tree mid day about 30 feet behind me when I stopped for a drink!
  • + 1
 That's just wild. There was a kid on his way home from basketball practice in Graford TX that hit a mountain lion with his car a few months ago.
  • + 1
 Never leave for a ride without bear spray if you are in large predator country! It feels weird now to not have bear mace on my waist when riding.
  • + 2
 Very unfortunate. Thoughts going out to the Brooks family. Stay safe everyone.
  • + 2
 Put anything that resembles a face or head on your back when you ride through an area with big cat habitat.
  • + 1
 Cougars are always a potential threat on the trails. Always a concern on solo rides.
Very tragic. Thoughts go out to SJ Brooks’s loved ones.
  • + 2
 Tou know what i learned from this? Riding in group adds no safety, others will run away if st hits the fan and that is sad
  • + 2
 Such tragic news, thoughts and prayers to the Brooks family and to Sederbaum.
  • + 0
 How could a couple of rounds of 9mm or 45's not scare off a cat? I would be blown away if they continued pursuit through that noise....
  • + 1
 Sorry you've had such a horrible experience, the whole scenario sounds awful. Heal well and stay strong.
  • + 2
 Very sad.
  • + 1
 vary sad glad we only got snakes over here
  • - 3
 I'm very sorry for his family - but it's not fair to kill wild animals just because we want to go mountain biking in their home ! Same when people go hunting Great whites after an attack , What's that gonna do but fuck the world up some more !
  • - 9
flag ka81 (May 21, 2018 at 5:04) (Below Threshold)
 so cute.. )
  • + 6
 Says the guy who lives in a place where humans wiped out all the dangerous predators centuries ago.
  • + 5
 @sprintmaster

Moron. Once a wild animal kills a human it will do so again and start to see humans as a food source. Once there's an attack, the animal has to be put down.

It doesn't have sh*t to do with fairness.
  • + 0
 @tsn73: only for feeding ourselves and sometimes for little cute fur coats..
  • - 1
 Very tragic! My condolences with the family and friends
In the other hand...what is the benefit of hunt and kill the cat..question?
  • + 5
 A predator that has acquired a taste for human flesh must be destroyed. A repeat attack on another human would be practically guaranteed.
  • + 1
 Say it wasn't killed, it attacks again and again, will it be ethically correct to kill it then? Its a good ethical question nontheless, after how many human deaths shall an animal like a cougar be killed? Or shall it be left alone in its killing spree? I guess in all fairness the cougar (big cat) VS human "fight" has always existed as we have always SHARED the same habitat...
  • - 1
 @patricioescobar: I do not disagree that a wild cougar’s life is worth more than that of a humans. I don’t make up the rules. If you run away from a cougar, you will get attacked.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: disagree..but there is nothing to do anyway..
  • + 1
 @Ogp69: I’m fairly sure all apex predators have been eradicated from the UK long ago... I don’t know that you speak from a credible position. On my local rides we have black bears, grizzly bears, and plenty of mountain lions (cougars). They are always a concern on rides, particularly on solo rides.
  • + 1
 My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of S.J. Brooks.
  • + 0
 never ride alone, always tell someone where you're going and expected time to return
  • + 0
 Is this article about riding alone?
  • + 2
 and Victim A ran away...
  • + 0
 Rest in peace, prayers to the family. From now on I will always carry some meat with me in my bag while riding
  • + 1
 we get cougars in my country valley all the time
  • + 1
 Yep them 40+ year old women will take you to the grave early I tellz ya'
  • + 2
 Very sad
  • + 1
 Exactly why it doesn't hurt to toss a firearm in your camelback.
  • + 3
 If you don't have a firearm on your side that cougar would finish you off well before you could even say "Sig 226". Inside your camelback is just something else for forensics to find lol
  • + 1
 That sounds horrific. RIP to the rider, and condolences to the family Frown
  • + 1
 Very tragic.
  • + 1
 This is very sad.
  • + 0
 Another reason to be on an Ebike!
  • + 2
 Are you saying a e bike could out run a Cougar..??
  • - 1
 My guess is all of the MTB activity in the area has push prey species out and put pressure on mountain lion populations.
  • - 1
 Sorry but sounds like one friend abandoned the other.
  • + 5
 Tragic! But sure seems that way, 2 vs 1, my first thought is you stand your ground, don't go without a fight! But then this news is re-hashed by RC, don't know if real or fake at this point! Probably try to sell us one of these hip packs that you could carry an M16 with! Let's make some "I heart cougars" for trail riders would probably help save more lives and cougars!
  • + 3
 Yah running away separately was the single worse thing to do.
  • - 3
 Really sorry to hear that the cougar was put down. Always feel terrible that wildlife has to pay the price for man's transgressions.
  • - 2
 Minjin.
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