King County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott said the pair, whose identities haven't been released, were attacked while they were going for a mountain bike ride in North Bend, east of Seattle.
"They stopped. They did the right thing, made a lot of noise". The first victim saw his friend being pulled by the cougar. "The cougar was trying to shake the victim from side to side", Abbott said. "He got on his bike and started to bike away". They said there was no indication the men taunted the animal in any way before it attacked.
The freed cyclist, 31, then managed to retrieve his bike and cycle for two miles for a reception to call the authorities.
First responders from fire and sheriff's departments treated the victim, who suffered deep cuts throughout his body.
State orders pathology tests on cougar that attacked bicyclists
DNA testing is being used to determine if the cougar who was shot and killed by officers Saturday is the same one in the attack.
Gary Koehler, a former Fish and Wildlife research scientist for DFW, said cougars are typically wary of humans and Saturday's attack. "This was an animal that was not healthy, and in its last attempts to try to survive did something it ordinarily wouldn't". "Some young cougars are driven across miles of countryside in search of unoccupied territory", the agency said.
"I have so many friends that ride out there all the time", Gillies told KIRO.More news: Police officer killed in Baltimore County; manhunt continues for suspect
While cougars' goal is to be stealthy as possible, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says they receive hundreds of calls about sightings each year.
Officials say there has only been one other fatal attack in Washington in the past 100 years.
However, attacks involving cougars, also known as mountain lions, have been increasingly common in the past 20 years.
The last deadly attack in Washington state was back in 1924, when a 13-year-old boy was killed.More news: LGBTQ community cheers pope's 'God made you like this' remark
There are around 2,000 cougars in the state, according to estimates by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The man who was injured is reported to be in satisfactory condition at a hospital. The adult male cougar stalked the cyclists, and instead of running away after the victims tried to scare it off, the animal returned and attacked them. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and it ran off.
"The deputies shot at him and spooked him, and he ran off", he said. Shout, wave your arms and throw rocks, anything to let the animal know you are a threat and not prey.
Three-year-old cougars usually weigh 140lb or more, according to the state's wildlife agency.More news: After everything that's Happened Manager Finally Commits To Chelsea