Washington state cyclists describe fighting off mountain lion during attack

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By journalsofus.com


US News


A group of cyclists in their 50s and 60s fought with a mountain lion for 45 minutes after the bobcat lunged at one of their friends and bit his face during a team ride along a vast Washington state trail last month. past.

The five riders recalled the harrowing struggle to wrestle the beast away from their friend using only rocks, sticks and their bare hands during the Feb. 17 attack on a trail northeast of Fall City in Washington, according to a recent report.

The cyclists used one of their bicycles to catch the wildcat. Courtesy of Keri Bergere

The friends, all part of the competitive Recycled Cycles Racing team, were 19 miles into their bike trip when the wild animal pounced on Keri Bergere, 60, and tackled her in a shallow ditch off the road with its teeth. puma biting his jaw. .

“I thought my teeth were loosening and I was going to swallow them,” Bergere he told KUOW in an interview published Thursday. “I could feel the bones crushing and I could feel them tearing apart.”

“I felt like I was suffocating,” he also told the station. “I could taste the blood in my mouth.”

His friends quickly came to his defense using sticks and stones to try to get the male mountain lion to loosen his grip on Bergere, whose face was forced into the ground. One cyclist stabbed the cat with a small knife and another, Annie Bilotta, 64, tried to strangle the ferocious creature.

“That was like choking a rock,” Bilotta told KUOW. “He did absolutely nothing.”

He then attempted to pry the cougar’s jaw with his hand.

“I felt like he was moving his teeth like he wanted to try to bite me too,” Bilotta said. “I said ‘no, you’re not going to get us both.’”

Bergere suffered facial trauma and permanent nerve damage from the attack. king5

Auna Tietz, 59, dropped a 25-pound rock on the cougar’s head numerous times while trying to avoid hitting her friend. Bergere, still trapped by the puma, tried to stick her fingers into the animal’s nostrils and into her eyes.

Finally, after 15 minutes, the animal calmed down and Bergere was able to crawl away.

The women had been cycling for 30 kilometers when the terrifying incident occurred. Courtesy of Keri Bergere

Tisch Williams, 59, then grabbed 51-year-old Erica Wolf’s $6,000 bicycle and the group used it to restrain the mountain cougar for 30 minutes before a Department of Fisheries police officer arrived. and Washington Wildlife and shot the creature between the shoulder. blades, the outlet reported.

“Superhuman strength came to all of these women,” said Bergere, who was hospitalized in stable condition but had notable facial injuries.

“They are young ladies, and I know that Fish and Wildlife fired the last shot to kill them. But these ladies killed that puma with their own hands and without weapons,” he also said. “I am eternally grateful to each of them.”

The male cougar was about 1 year old and weighed about 75 pounds, he says. Fish and Wildlife officials said.

The animal did not have rabies or other significant diseases or problems that could lead to aggressive behavior, the department said.




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