Early Saturday morning (may 19), two men encountered a cougar leaving one dead and the other fatally injured. The two men were mountain-biking in the foothills near North Bend, Washington when the attack took place as reported by CBS affiliate KIRO-TV. The town is roughly 30 miles outside of Seattle.

When help arrived the cougar was still there

First responders arrived at the scene while the cougar was still standing over the deceased man's body. The cougar dragged the body to its den. A King County Sheriff's spokesperson told CBS News that the cougar ran into the woods as Wildlife officials approached the animal.

Officers of the Washington Department of Fish and Game later tracked it down and shot and killed the cougar, as stated by Capt. Alan Myers of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Police. It took officials with tracker dogs hours to find the cougar.

The survivor

The 31-year-old survivor was rushed to an emergency room in Seattle. Upon arrival, he was listed in serious condition but was alert and talking. The Seattle Times has recently reported his condition has been upgraded to satisfactory.

KIRO-TV reported that the injured man made the call to 911 before 11 AM and shouted, “Can you hear me? Help!” and then hung up. It is unclear whether the two bikers were together. A search and rescue team has been dispatched to recover the body of the deceased man.

Future wildlife encounters

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, make up the largest members of the cat family in Washington. Hundreds of calls to report sightings of cougars are made annually according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Over the past 100 years in North America, roughly 25 fatalities and 95 nonfatal cougar attacks have been reported, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said, but there was only one other fatal attack in the state.

Over the past 20 years, more attacks have been reported in the western United States and Canada than in the previous 80 years.

With population increasing and cougar habitats decreasing, more interactions between humans and cougars will become possible. The same is happening with bobcats and bears. As long as humans continue to push further into cougar territory it should come to no surprise when attacks occur. Unfortunately, for both sides, humans and animals, they become the victim. Innocent people are attacked, and animals are only doing what feels natural to them.