The two bikers in their 30s were on a Saturday morning bike ride near North Bend -- some 30 miles from Seattle. The starving cougar attacked them, and even though they resisted, the animal dragged one of them away to its den. The survivor managed to summon help and officers of the Washington Department of Fish and Game finally located the cougar and euthanized it.

Daily Mail UK reports that the two young men got down from their bikes and tried to scare the animal away. It did run away but returned once they got back on their bikes. The animal was hungry and one man lost his life.

Cougars feel threatened

The survivor of the cougar attack was rushed to a nearby medical center in Seattle. He suffered serious injuries. According to Sergeant Ryan Abbott from the King County Sheriff's office, the rescue team that arrived on the scene discovered the animal standing over the body of the victim. The animal dragged the body into the woods. Wildlife officials had trouble trapping the cougar and had to spend quite a lot of time tracking it down before euthanizing it.

Officials observed that the big cat was underweight. It looked to be a three-year-old male and they would normally weigh 140 to 180 pounds, but the weight of this one was about 100 pounds. The authorities will conduct a necropsy to determine why it was underweight.

The man who died was a research assistant at a college in Massachusetts. He was an avid biker, and created a biking community where everyone was welcome.

Such attacks are rare

Wildlife officials were surprised by the attack because such attacks are rare. Only one other person has died from a cougar attack in the last 100 years, while 15 others were attacked during this time.

Sky News adds that these animals are found across South and Central America and in mountains and forests to the west of the United States. They fall in the category of endangered species in the US. However, Washington State grants permission to hunt and kill 250 cougars every year in specially designated zones.

Rich Beausoleil, the state's bear and cougar specialist, has confirmed that this was the second fatality in the state in the last 94 years.

This needs to be investigated because it could be due to man-animal conflict. Rapid urbanization is encroaching on the natural habitat of animals and humans may have to face such attacks as a consequence of this. It is a fight for survival in most cases like this.