A Colorado woman was bitten by a coyote pup on Tuesday in Yuma, Colorado while multiple families were trying to pet and play with the animal, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The young coyote was euthanized as a result.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife found out about the incident after getting a phone call from a doctor that had seen the woman, who had minor injuries, as a patient. Upon investigation, officials discovered that the coyote, found wearing a dog collar and leash, had been taken in by another individual. It was clear to officials that the animal had been habituated by people in the community who had been feeding it.
The coyote was ultimately euthanized in order to collect a brain sample for rabies testing. The results from that test are still pending, but the woman who was bitten is getting a rabies shot as a precaution.
Wildlife officials reminded the public to never interact with wild animals. Feeding big game animals, a designation that includes both fox and coyotes, is illegal. Fines for doing so start at $100 and go up from there.
When animals are fed by humans, they start to expect food from humans, which can lead to a negative interactions and aggressive behavior. When this occurs, the animal is typically the one that faces the consequence in death. Prevent animal euthanizations by keeping wildlife at a distance. If you can't use your thumb to cover the animal at the end of an outstretched arm, you're too close.
The town of Yuma is located in northeast Colorado.
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