[5/23/18] Remains Of Cougar In Fatal Attack Of Mountain Biker Sent To Washington State University For Analysis

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Two men did the right thing when confronted by a cougar. But a cougar that’s starving or is suffering from something else doesn’t behave normally. Marcus Bellissimo reports.

A rare attack by a cougar killed a Washington state man Saturday, May 18 and seriously injured another. The attack happened in the wooded foothills north of Mount Si outside North Bend. The friends were mountain biking when they encountered a cougar Saturday morning. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police Capt. Alan Myers describes the cougars pursuit.

052318 MYERS BITE #1 :25

“….bushes along side the trail.”

By all indications, the two men did everything right up to that point. But that was not enough.

052318 MYERS BITE #2 :23

“….that unfortunately didn’t make it.”

The man killed was identified as 32-year-old S.J. Brooks of Seattle while the other mountain-biker, 31-year-old Issac Sederbaum had been attacked and was suffereing from some very grave injuries about his head, neck and face, had to ride about two miles before he could get cell service and called 911.

052318 MYERS BITE #3 :42

“….animal and dispatched it.”

The cougar’s remains were sent to Washington State University’s veterinary lab in Pullman for necropsy. From there, one part of the animal was sent on to the WDFW.

052318 MYERS BITE #4 :09

“….for further analysis.”

That further analysis consists of matching DNA taken from the animal with DNA from the victims to be certain they killed the right cougar. They also plan to examine the cougar to see what might have been wrong with it. The fatal attack was extremely rare, the first in Washington state in 94 years. The last one happening in Okanogan County in 1924. According to Capt. Myers, the danger of increased cougar attacks is unlikely with this incident being highly unusual in nature.

052318 MYERS BITE #5 :26

“….scratching our head.”

The way in which the cougar behaved is suspicious. Capt. Myers said the male cougar appeared emaciated and underweight, and kept attacking despite the men trying to fend off the attack in ways they say were correct. Issac Sederbaum was airlifted to a Seattle hospital in serious condition. He’s since been upgraded to stable condition.