AUG 28, 2017 3:21 PM PDT

What to Do If You Encounter a Coyote

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

A woman from rural New York was recently attacked by a rabid coyote. Coyotes usually attack smaller animals (small dogs or cats). But this hunter can also show aggression towards humans, especially if it associates humans with food. In particular, coyotes have been known to target children because of their small size.

It seems counterintuitive, but don't run away if you ever encounter a coyote. This action could trigger the animal's innate instincts to chase, capture, and attack. Instead, the Human Society recommends several scare tactics that will hopefully drive the animal away. These tactics involve standing your ground while making loud noises to instill fear in the animal. And if you have small children or pets with you, get them off the ground. While you may feel ridiculous stomping your feet and yelling, this tactic could save you a bite from the coyote.

Other prevention tactics include properly disposing and sealing all foods and waste, so as to not temp any stray coyotes. And always keep your pets, especially the small varieties, on a leash. Finally, never, ever feed a coyote.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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