Pregnant woman fends off coyotes near Woolastook Park
One dog bitten during incident on trail southwest of Fredericton, fire official says
A woman who is nine months pregnant was able to fend off three or four coyotes that surrounded her and her two dogs while she was out walking near Woolastook Park on Tuesday morning, says Chief Murray Crouse of the Upper Kingsclear Fire Department.
"They were surrounded by three or four coyotes that surrounded and tried to get the dogs," Crouse said Wednesday.
The woman was able to call 911 for help and kept scaring away the coyotes from her and the dogs, he said.
"She got off the trail trying to protect the dogs, and she didn't know for a few minutes where she was. Of course, in all the excitement I could see that happening."
Rare to see near people
Crouse said the coyotes were gone when his department arrived at the site southwest of Fredericton, but firefighters found one of the dogs had been bitten.
"We took it into the vet and dropped it off there, and she went to get checked out at the hospital as well because she was nine months pregnant."
Crouse said there are coyotes in the area that can be heard howling at night, and some cats in the area have disappeared.
"But as far as attacking when there's people there, no, I never … it's the first time I come across that."
In an email, spokesperson Nick Brown said the Department of Natural Resources has not seen a change in coyote behaviour or population this year compared with previous years.
"The Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development encourages residents to enjoy nature while being aware of the wildlife within it."
Brown said there is information on the department's website advising how to protect yourself if you encounter a coyote.
Some of the tips include:
- Back away from a coyote and remain calm.
- Do not turn your back on or run from a coyote;
- If a coyote is approaching, respond aggressively: wave your arms, shout, throw rocks or sticks, and maintain eye contact.