Whitehorse woman 'nipped' by coyote, Yukon wildlife officials say

Yukon conservation officers are urging Whitehorse residents to use caution while walking the city's trails after a coyote nipped at the legs of a jogger in McIntyre Creek Monday.

Coyote pursued jogger on trail in city's McIntyre Creek area

A coyote nipped at the legs of a jogger in Whitehorse Monday. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

Yukon conservation officers are urging Whitehorse residents to use caution while walking the city's trails after a coyote nipped at the legs of a jogger in the McIntyre Creek area Monday.

The woman was jogging on a trail near Pine Street when the coyote pursued her and began biting at her legs. The coyote broke skin on the woman's leg and she was later treated for her injuries at Whitehorse General Hospital.

There was no further word on her condition Tuesday.

Environment department officials investigated and determined that a single coyote was involved in the incident. Conservation officer Kevin Johnstone says running from the coyote was a mistake.
During an encounter with wolves and coyotes, it's important not to run, says conservation officer Kevin Johnstone. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

"The person who encountered the animal, it was early in the day so daylight played a factor in that and the fact that she continued to jog or run away from the animal that might have provoked a response, like a predator/prey response and caused the animal to pursue her," he said.

"We recommend not running away from animals like that and just standing your ground." 

Johnstone also recommended carrying bear spray. He says pets should always be kept on a leash in the city's greenbelt. "Take the necessary precautions and be mindful that [animals] are out there."

Stay alert

Terri Wright, who works at Yukon College near where the incident took place, says she's always alert during her frequent lunchtime walks.
Whitehorse resident Terri Wright, who works in the area where the incident took place, says she avoids walking alone in the greenbelt. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

"There's always animals," she said. "Working at the college there's always signs up. We're always alert and watching for them. I'm kind of surprised it bit someone." 

Wright says she won't stop walking in the area, "I don't walk alone. I always make sure I'm with someone."

Department officials are reminding people to safeguard their pets and not to feed foxes, wolves or coyotes. In the event of an encounter with such animals, they advise people to make themselves look as large as possible while shouting in a loud, deep voice, then backing away slowly.

With files from Cheryl Kawaja


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