Cougar kills mountain biker and injures another in Washington state

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"Something was wrong with this cougar", Sgt. Ryan Abbott, spokesman for the King County Sheriff's Office, told the Associated Press. They did what they were supposed to, which is make noise and distract the cougar. "But something was wrong with this cougar".

Fish and wildlife officers say two men were cycling along a trail in the Washington foothills when a cougar suddenly attacked.

"It's an incredibly tragic story", Capt. Alan Myers of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife said on Sunday.

Abbott said the victim rode about two miles to find cell reception, called 911 and screamed "Help!" into his phone.

The 31-year-old survivor was taken to Harborview medical Center where he remains in serious condition, the hospital said in a statement.

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Brooks was attempting to run away when the cougar spotted him, dropped Sederbaum and pounced on the 32-year-old biker.

Sederbaum was able to get back on his bike after being mauled, and rode out of the area.

First responders from the fire and sheriff's departments found Brooks in the cougar's den, Abbott said. Officials said he told them his friend ran into the woods while he was being attacked. They eventually found the cat up in a tree 50 to 200 yards away, and killed it.

Abbot said that despite the men's actions, the cougar continued to stalk them before attacking. Myers said a veterinarian will conduct a brain necropsy to determine why the animal attacked the bikers and if it was sick.

There are an estimated 2,000 cougars in Washington. They hunt and eat deer, elk, rabbits and small critters in the early morning, at dusk and evening.

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One person is dead and another has been injured in a cougar attack in Washington state.

Attacks have become more common as people increasingly encroach on the animals' territory. However, more attacks have been reported in the western United States and Canada over the past 20 years than in the previous 80 years.

Since then, he said, he's counted 17 cougar legislation bills - "and that didn't include the failed ones" - most trying to legalize the use of hounds for tracking and hunting the big cats.

If you encounter a cougar, don't run - because the animal's instinct is to chase. The cougar saw that and went after the second victim. And if it does attack, fight back.

"The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger", Fish and Wildlife advises on its website.

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