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DNA confirms cougar killed near North Bend had attacked bicyclists

File - In this Saturday, May 19, 2018 file photo, Washington State Fish and Wildlife Police confer with an individual from the King County Medical Examiner's and a King County Sheriff's deputy on a remote gravel road above Snoqualmie, following a fatal cougar attack. Recordings of emergency calls about a fatal cougar attack in Washington state Saturday detail how a dispatcher calmly struggled to figure out where it occurred and how worried the surviving victim was about his friend. Isaac Sederbaum was mountain biking with friend S.J. Brooks on logging roads in the Cascade Mountain foothills east of Seattle when they were attacked. The cougar bit Sederbaum on the head before killing Brooks. (Alan Berner / AP)
File - In this Saturday, May 19, 2018 file photo, Washington State Fish and Wildlife Police confer with an individual from the King County Medical Examiner's and a King County Sheriff's deputy on a remote gravel road above Snoqualmie, following a fatal cougar attack. Recordings of emergency calls about a fatal cougar attack in Washington state Saturday detail how a dispatcher calmly struggled to figure out where it occurred and how worried the surviving victim was about his friend. Isaac Sederbaum was mountain biking with friend S.J. Brooks on logging roads in the Cascade Mountain foothills east of Seattle when they were attacked. The cougar bit Sederbaum on the head before killing Brooks. (Alan Berner / AP)

The cougar that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials killed on May 19 was the same animal that attacked two bicyclists, killing one, DNA analysis confirmed Wednesday.

WDFW Capt. Alan Myers said the laboratory analysis confirmed that DNA from animal hair found on one of the victims was identical to that contained in muscle tissue taken from the cougar, according to a WDFW news release.

The DNA analysis was done by scientists at the University of California, Davis. Their report is available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/jul2518a.pdf.

“We were confident the animal euthanized at the scene was the same cougar involved in the attack but needed the DNA analysis to be certain,” Myers said in the release.

Last week, a Washington State University necropsy of the animal found that “the cause of the aggressive behavior reported in this cat was not evident on gross necropsy examination.”

The cougar weighed 104 pounds and was estimated to be about 3 years old. The necropsy found no indication of rabies or other diseases that would pose a risk to humans.


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