Cross-Country Skier Bitten By A Coyote In Yellowstone

This past Tuesday, January 28th, Yellowstone National Park dispatch received a call that a coyote had bitten a woman in the Canyon Village area. The woman was cross-country skiing along the Grand Loop Road near the South Rim Drive when she was bitten.

The 43-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released, was assisted to the Canyon Visitor Education Center by others who witnessed the incident. Rangers at the center provided initial medical treatment for puncture wounds and lacerations to the victim's head and arm. The woman was then transported to Mammoth Hot Springs by an over-the-snow vehicle, and then she continued on to a medical facility.

Staff at the park temporarily closed the road to search for the coyote. They were able to identify and kill the animal, which is being necropsied and tested for rabies.

“Encounters like these are rare, but they can happen. We suspect this coyote may have been starving due to having porcupine quills in its lower jaw and inside its mouth. Its young age likely led to its poor condition and irregular behavior,” said wildlife biologist Doug Smith.

Park Rangers and officials are reminding visitors that wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, as well as the other parks across the country, are indeed wild and unpredictable. Remember to be aware of your surroundings, never feed the animals, to properly store food and trash while in the park, and to keep at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from all of the large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves.


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