A pack of coyotes attacked a hiker in Nova Scotia yesterday, in a well-traveled area near enough other people that a police officer drove off the attacking dogs. Coyotes almost never attack people; what's going on here? The A.P. reports:
Wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft said coyote attacks are extremely rare because the animals are usually shy.
Bancroft, a retired biologist with Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources, said it's possible the coyotes thought [attack victim Taylor] Mitchell was a deer or other prey.
"It's very unusual and is not likely to repeated," Bancroft said. "We shouldn't assume that coyotes are suddenly going to become the big bad wolf."
An official with Parks Canada said they blocked the entrance to the trail where Mitchell was attacked and were trying to find the animals to determine what prompted such an unusual attack.
Possibly the encroachment of humans on their territory has made them less afraid of us? Still, coyotes don't usually behave like that.