The reason for a cougar attack in May near North Bend which left one man dead and another injured remains a mystery after an autopsy revealed the animal had no sign of disease. Photo from publicdomainpictures.net

The reason for a cougar attack in May near North Bend which left one man dead and another injured remains a mystery after an autopsy revealed the animal had no sign of disease. Photo from publicdomainpictures.net

Killer North Bend cougar showed no signs of disease

Autopsy sheds no light on why a cougar attacked near North Bend leaving one dead.

  • Saturday, July 21, 2018 8:30am
  • News

An autopsy report shows no evidence of disease in a cougar that killed one cyclist and injured another near North Bend in May.

The 104 pound adult male cougar was shot twice and killed by state Department of Fish and Wildlife officers and sent to various labs for testing, which showed no signs of disease, including rabies, which would have contributed to abnormal behavior and increased aggression. The 3-year-old cougar was underweight but still within a normal range. Fish and Wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kristin Mansfield said in a press release that the examination found no reason why the cougar attacked two cyclists on May 19.

The cougar was killed after it attacked 32-year-old Sonja J. Brooks who was an inclusion activist and active member of the Seattle bicycling community. Her 31-year-old biking companion, Isaac Sederbaum, was also attacked by the cougar as they rode in the forest near North Bend.

The pair saw a cougar chasing them and attempted to scare off the cat by making noise and striking the cougar with a bike, which caused it to run off. However, when the two tried to ride away the cougar ambushed them, jumping on Sederbaum and shaking him around while his whole head was in the animal’s mouth. Brooks tried to escape but the cougar dropped Sederbaum and chased the running hiker.

Sederbaum escaped on his bike and began pedalling away, riding for around two miles until he came into cell phone reception and called for help. Sederbaum was treated on the scene and taken to Harborview Medical Center. Deputies with the state’s Fish and Wildlife department later found Brooks’ body in the cougars den. The animal was subsequently shot and sent to be tested at the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Washington State University.

Cougar attacks on humans are rare and it remains a mystery why the animal attacked the bikers as cougars are generally shy animals that prefer to hunt smaller animals such as deer, rabbits and goats. It is the first time a cougar has killed a human in Washington state since 1924.

Officials said the victims did everything right as they tried to defend themselves from the attack. Wildlife officials also encourage those entering wilderness to carry bear spray, a strong form of pepper spray which can be easier to use than firearms.

More in News

118 unit townhouse project coming to Canyon Park

MJS Investors are working to build out a townhouse development in Bothell’s… Continue reading

Greg McClellan of Kirkland completes his 48-hour long concept album after almost 20 years. Madison Miller/staff photo.
Kirkland man creates 48-hour long concept album

Greg McClellan finishes what may be the world’s longest album in dedication to his lifelong friend.

Bothell man pleads guilty to sex crimes involving 14-year-old

Defendant met and groomed victim online, traveled to California for sex and produced child porn.

Photo of Community Transit. Reporter file photo courtesy of Lizz Giordano, The Herald
Sound Transit to host local meetings on bus rapid transit

Sound Transit invites locals to attend SR 522/Northeast 145th Street corridor project meetings.

FEMA Region 10 Headquarters, Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) staff monitor flood activities in Washington and Oregon during heavy rains in November 2006 that flooded many Western Washington rivers, homes, communities and towns. Photo courtesy of Marvin Nauman, FEMA
FEMA encourages year-round disaster preparedness

National Preparedness Month, on the tail end of hurricane season, encourages locals to be mindful.

Police investigate the scene of the shooting. Photo courtesy of the city of Bothell
Bothell police investigate shooting

Police received a 911 call reporting a man with a gun shot wound. He’s still in critical condition.

Suspect steals iPad from stroller during wedding | Police blotter

The Bothell police blotter for Aug. 31 through Sept. 5.

Photos courtesy of Trooper Rick Johnson
Troopers seek hit and run suspect, call on public for help

The Washington State Patrol asked locals for any information to identify the vehicle and suspect.

The amended ordinance will allocate $135 million in lodging tax revenues for Safeco Field upkeep over the next two decades. Photo by Cacophony/Wikipedia Commons
King County Council approves $135 million public investment in Safeco Field

A council committee voted to advance a last-minute “compromise” plan to fund stadium maintenance.

Most Read