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Cougar Attack Victim and Friends Speak Out About the Terrifying Experience

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Cougar Attack Victim and Friends Speak Out About the Terrifying Experience

Posted 2024-04-01  by  Stephanie Mallory

The women cyclists penned the wild cat down using a bike until help arrived

A woman who suffered severe facial injuries when she was attacked by a mountain lion while biking with friends down a Washington trail is speaking out about the ordeal, and she credits her friends with saving her life.

According to King 5, Keri Bergere, a competitive cyclist, was biking with four other women on February 17, 2024, about 30 miles outside of Seattle when a cougar attacked her, grasping her head within its jaws.

“I knew every second what was going on,” Bergere told KING 5. “And I was doing my own, you know, poking at it and trying to poke its eyeballs out and get up his nose and pry his mouth with my hand.”

The encounter, which featured a second cougar that ran away, according to KING 5, happened so quickly the women didn’t have time to protect themselves.

“From the time we saw the cougars to the time it took Keri off her bike was about three seconds,” Annie Bilotta, one of the cyclists, recalled. “We didn’t have a chance to face off with them to scare them away or anything.”

“I immediately tried to choke the cougar, which was like trying to choke a rock,” Bilotta continued.

Bergere says she believes it only took about one second from the moment they saw the animals until it attacked and mauled her, but it took 15 minutes for the wild cat to loosen its grip, enabling Bergere to break free. The other cyclists managed to use a bike to pin the animal down until help arrived.

“Keri’s just laying there by herself and we kept saying, ‘Are you doing OK?’ and she would just give us a bloody thumbs up that she was doing OK,” Tisch Williams, another cyclist, said.

Bergere, who suffered severe injuries to her face and permanent nerve damage, says her friends saved her life.

“I know for a fact I would be dead, if they didn’t come back in. I would just be gone,” she said.

“We just did what we had it to do. And part of it was just primal instinct. Just get in there and fight,” Bilotta said.

“The cougar wasn’t going to take us cougars down,” Williams said.

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