Cougar attack kills man/Orange County

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Anonymous's picture

"article link:

The bikers were attacked while riding trails in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. One of the women, Debbie Nichols, described to reporters at the scene how the mountain lion dragged her companion 100 yards into the brush while she held on to her legs and screamed for help.

""This guy (the lion) would not let go,"" she said. ""He had hold of her face.""

video link:"

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

Surf? Or snowboard?

Yanking the string, indeed.

Anonymous's picture
Ellen Jaffe (not verified)

From today's Orange County Register...........

A 110-pound mountain lion that authorities believe killed one cyclist and mauled another was shot dead in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park late Thursday.

The death of the unidentified man, said to be in his 20s, is the first such fatality in Orange County history.

Deputies and a Department of Fish and Game ranger killed the cat with at least two shots after finding it 10 feet away from the man's body, which the animal had partially covered with dirt.

Although forensic tests must be done to determine whether the felled cat was responsible for the attacks, the shooting ended a terrifying night of heroism and bloodshed on a popular biking trail just a mile south of Santiago Canyon Road.

The surviving victim, Anne Hjelle, was saved by a friend who held onto her legs while the cougar bit down on her head and pulled in a fierce tug-of-war. A group of men pummeled the beast with rocks, finally forcing it to flee without its prey.

Anonymous's picture
hannah (not verified)
which Orange County?

That would be Orange County, CA, not NY, correct?

Anonymous's picture
Lunch (not verified)
Humans as source of food

Of all the ways to buy it on a bike, this has to be one of the worst.

Humans 1 Cat 2

I hope she was wearing a helmet!

110 lbs.- Do you think the cat was on Atkins or South Beach?

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

I am trying to be a Cat 7!

But yeah, what a fate. Civilization expands,while endangered species, protected now, also expand.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
How true indeed

While visiting Thousand Oaks, CA recently, I did some light hiking in a local state park (Simi Rancho, IIRC). It's a nice, quiet park - not too big and immediately accessible by foot from a local residence.

Anyway, if I turn to one side, I see modern day suburbia -lush green lawns, trees, houses, swimming pools, cars, pavement, etc.

Turn to the other direction and it looks as though non-one have ever inhabited the land. Low lying dry brush, sand, clay, etc surround the bare mountainous area.

The park had signs warning you of mountain lions and another big cat creature common to the area (puma, panther - name escapes me) and rattlesnakes.

Luckily I didn't see any big cats or snakes, but I did have a coyote cross my path. He was too busy going about his business to notice me. Thankfully I'm a retired roadrunner now masking as cyclist.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

12 gauge, 30.06, perhaps a .44 mag will do. When we see signs like that in Tallman Park or Rockland State Park, then we worry.

Buit what a view in South Oaks, one side civ, the other raw.

Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)
If not cougars...

It may not be mountain lions in Tallman, but the bear population is growing in New Jersey.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Orange Count CA!

Thankfully, there are no breeding cougar populations in the NE USA. A couple of escaped pets occasionally make the news. In the mid-1990s, an escaped cougar was repeatedly sited in parks in the City of Philadelphia -- it even had its collar on! It made its way to the suburbs (Mainline of course) was seen around Valley Forge then the sightings stopped. It probably eventually died, being ill-equipped to survive in the wild. Some experts think the cougar responsible for these attacks is an escaped pet, since cougars generally avoid human contact.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
Very Atypical behavior for a big cat

"Quoting the last four paragraphs of the article

The mountain lion is reclusive that typically doesn't want to be seen by humans. Capt. Steve Miller with the Orange County Fire Department said authorities were puzzled about what prompted this one to attack.

""Whenever you're in an area that has deer in the area, you are undoubtedly in mountain lion habitat,"" Miller said. But he added, ""It's still extremely rare to have a lion that identifies a human being as an item on their menu.""

Animal expert Jack Hanna told CNN he could only theorize that the lion may have been injured, prompting it to change its usual behavior. Whatever the reason, he said, the attack was an extremely rare event.

Mountain lions ""are very elusive,"" Hanna said. ""They don't want to see you any more than you want to see them.""


Anonymous's picture
Wayne Wright (not verified)
A Rare Attack Indeed

While hiking near Boulder, CO, about two years ago, a sign at one trailhead we hiked warned of mountain lions in the area. The detail on the sign claimed that in the entire history of the U.S., there were only nine confirmed deaths from mountain lion attacks.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
damned suv's


The fatal attack marked the sixth time in more than 110 years of record-keeping that a mountain lion has killed a human in California. There have been 41 fatal attacks nationwide, 10 of those since 1990.

A second mountain lion in the area was struck by a car and killed. Authorities said tests would also be performed on that animal.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
In the East

I seem to remember the last time someone in the East was killed by a cougar was in the 1700s...

Anonymous's picture
Eto A. Shrdlinki (not verified)
Humane thinking required

These mountain lions would not attack cyclists if the lions themselves were riders. What we need to do is collect used helmets and bicycles, bring them up to the California hills, and teach those pussycats to ride bicycles. They should also be put on a strictly vegetarian diet, preferably one high in calories (which they could burn off while riding) so that they would not feel hunger pangs for humans.

By the way, whatever happened to the Siegfried and Roy story? Has Roy (or was it Siegfried?) recovered? What happened to the white tiger? (I'll bet the tiger didn't ride a bicycle either.)
Your Pal,
Etoain Shrdlu
Chairman, PEETOML
(People for the Ethical Education and Training Of Mountain Lions)

Anonymous's picture
fred steinberg (not verified)
Sex education too..

and teach the critters to use condoms too...

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
A Medium Rare Attack

Fatal attacks might be rare, but non-fatal attacks might happen more often than we like. I think a jogger was attacked a few years ago in the same region. If one is conscious after the initial blow AND you have your wits about you, full-grown humans might have a fighting chance against a medium size cat.

This morning Matt Lauder (NBC?) interviewed the woman who held onto her friend’s legs while having a tug of war with the cougar. She recalled coming upon a couple of guys (MTB’er) who were calling to report a abandoned bike (from the male victim). They then continued their ride on the trail where her friend was attacked. She said the cougar pounced on her friend’s back and started to bite the helmet and head area. (Should a bite pressure test be included in the helmet safety standards?). When the 2 guys showed up because of their cries and screams. They were at a lost as what to do, so she told them to ""throw rocks"" at it. The cougar finally let go and ran away.

The Interviewee was still pretty shaken and ML commented on the remarkable act she did for her friend. He also mentioned the other two men were ""Heroes"" also.

The community held a candle light vigil for the other victim.

Anonymous's picture
Chef Etoaine Shrdleux (not verified)
Cougar Bourguignon a la Cordon Bleu

Note: This is a Cordon Bleu recipe, adapted by a Montenegrin chef who studied many years ago at the Ecole Cordon Bleu in Paris and then spent time in Siberia, where the predator game is Siberian Tiger and the problems of bike riders are similar to those on California backwoods trails. (Fortunately, there aren’t many cyclists in Siberia.) Measurements have been adapted from the metric system to the American pounds and ounces system, and obviously, cougar has to be substituted for Siberian tiger.

• One cougar
• One and 1/4 cups of good red wine. (Remember, garbage in, garbage out)
• 1/3 cup Saba (a bitteer-sweet Italian grape extract available in New York at Fairway)
• 1/4 cup of olive oil
• 2 tablespoons of good Cognac (Again, garbage in, garbage out)
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• Two tablespoons of tomato paste
• Two cloves of garlic, minced
• One half spoonful of bouquet garni, in a cheesecloth sack with string attached or in a tea bag with string attached (after the tea has been removed)
• Two large onions or three to three and a half medium onions
• 1 lb. peeled and sliced carrots
• Salt and sugar to taste, if needed to adjust the flavors

- Shoot or run over with a truck one cougar
- Remove approximately 2 lbs. of meat from the rump and or thighs and cube into 1-inch to 2-inch cubes. Freeze the rest for future use.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the cubed cougar on all sides in the olive oil
- Stir in Cognac and light with match. Allow Cognac to burn off.
- Sprinkle flour over meat and stir over a low flame until the flour is absorbed by the olive oil
- Add the wine, saba, tomato paste, onions, garlic, and bouquet garni.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes
- Remove bouquet garnet by yanking its string
- Add carrots
- Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After carrots become tender, taste sauce and add salt and/or sugar as necessary. Bouquet garnet left in the pot too long, and/or too much saba can make the sauce a trifle too bitter. A teaspoonful or so of sugar and remedy this, if necessary. Use only small amounts of salt to enhance flavor.
- Recipe is best when refrigerated and left to marinate overnight. Reheat and serve the next day.

Serves four cyclists after a ride, or up to eight normal people.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

Surf? Or snowboard?

Yank that string, doood.

cycling trips