Cougar mauls Jewish mountain biker, kills his friend in Washington state


(JTA) — A cougar injured a mountain biker and killed his friend in rural Washington state.

Isaac Sederbaum, 31, survived the Saturday morning attack, but the cougar killed S.J. Brooks, 32, and dragged his body to his den where the animal brutally mauled it.

While cougars usually do not attack humans, and usually hunt at night, this cougar attacked in broad daylight. The cougar, which was found to be emaciated either due to illness or injury, was captured and euthanized.

Washington State wildlife authorities told the Washington Post that the bikers did everything that they were supposed to do to scare away the animal, including making loud noises. One of the bikers also swung his bike at the cougar and hit it in the head causing it to run away to nearby bushes.

The cougar first attacked Sederbaum, and was shaking him from side to side with the biker’s head in his jaws when he saw Brooks running away. The animal abandoned Sederbaum to follow its instincts and chase after Brooks. Sederbaum got back on his bike and rode away to get help, calling 911 when he was able to get cell phone reception. He was hospitalized with deep cuts and tears around his head and throughout his body. He underwent surgery on Sunday and was in satisfactory condition on Monday, according to CNN.

There are about 2,000 cougars living in the wild in Washington State. But attacks are extremely rare, with 16 reported in the last century, according to the Post.

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