NORTH BEND, Washington — A bloodthirsty cougar stalked and killed a cyclist and seriously injured his friend in a terrifying attack on a bike trail in Washington State, police said.
Authorities say the animal, which is also known as a mountain lion, began following the two men as they cycled in the woods northeast of Snoqualmie.
“They were riding when they saw a cougar, kind of stalking them. They did what they were supposed to, which is make noise and distract the cougar. The cougar ran away,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott, of the King County Sheriff’s Office, told the Seattle Times.
But as the men paused for a rest and began discussing how scary it was that the big cat had followed them, the ferocious feline struck, attacking one of the men, and closing its vice-like jaws around his head.
“He said he had his entire head in the jaws of the animal,” Capt. Alan Myers of the Washington State Fish and Wildlife unit told KIRO-TV.
The man’s friend began to run away, which caught the beast’s attention, prompting it to give chase and take the man down to the ground, and eventually kill him.
The first man, 31, rode off to get help, but by the time officers arrived at the scene, they spotted the cougar standing over the body of the dead man.
Eventually, police dogs were able to corner the animal and it was killed. A necropsy will be performed to see if there was any clue as to why it would at this way.
“The fact that it stayed in close proximity to these folks and attacked and stayed with them is highly, highly unusual,” Myers said.
The animals usually go to great pains to avoid human contact, and it was the first fatal mountain lion attack Washington State in nearly a century, authorities said.