GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro police and wildlife officials are working to capture an animal after a woman was attacked by what she believes was a coyote on Saturday afternoon.
Allison, who wanted us to use her first name only, says she went with friends to Lake Brandt to have a picnic. She was putting food away when an animal came up behind her.
“We were sitting and eating, and we were just about to leave when we had put all our food away when a coyote came up behind me and my friend,” Allison said.
She originally thought the animal was a dog but realized otherwise when it got closer and started biting her.
“It came up behind us very quietly, and we didn’t see it approaching,” she said. “All of the sudden, I saw the look on my friend’s face, and I turned around, and it was right behind me”
She says the coyote took hold of her hand and began pulling it.
Allison and her friend then went into the water to escape the animal which walked around their belongings before running away.
“It was pretty unexpected, and I have never been in a situation like that with an animal before,” Allison said. “I didn’t know…if it would be better to fight back or not antagonize it.”
The animal bit her multiple times in just over a minute, so she went to the emergency department and got the rabies vaccine.
She had 13 punctures from the attack, and ended up having to get 14 shots. It took several hours after the attack for the feeling to return to her hands.
Around 3:08 p.m., officers responded to the Lake Brandt marina at 5945 Lake Brant Road when they were told about a loose animal that may present a threat to the public.
“It was kind of a grayish, brown color. It looked like a medium sized dog. My friend thought it was a fox at first, but I’ve seen pictures of coyotes. And in that moment, I thought it was a coyote,” Allison said. “I think I’ll stay away from the lake for a little bit. It definitely taught me a lesson. I need to be more prepared.”
Shadyside, Owl’s Roost, Wild Turkey, and Nat Greene trails will be closed until at least March 16 due to the presence and aggressive nature of a coyote, according to a statement released by the City of Greensboro on Monday.
The full statement is provided below:
“During this period of closure, wildlife experts will investigate and implement any needed corrective measures to provide safer passage and usage of affected trails.
Coyotes are part of the natural habitat of Greensboro, however the animals rarely interact with humans, said Falyn Owens, of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. “We do recommend closing the trails for 10 days in order to err on the side of caution and keep residents safe,” Owens said.
Residents are reminded to follow some basic safety measures while enjoying City trails.
‘When on trails and in outdoor areas remember to hike, bike, and walk with others. Do not wear headphones so you are able to be aware of your surroundings. Always carry your cell phone and make noise so as not to startle wildlife in their natural habitat,’ said Michael Romano, environmental education and lakes supervisor for the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department. ‘Always keep dogs leashed and up-to-date on vaccinations.’
Remember to not approach wildlife on the trails or in other outside environments. To learn more about coyotes, visit www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Mammals/Coyote2.”