A wild coyote bit a woman who was walking in Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the Marin Headlands this week.
The coyote had been behaving aggressively before it attacked her, the woman told rangers. She walked 1.7 miles back and drove to a hospital after the wild coyote bit her leg, the Associated Press reported.
Park Service spokesman Charles Strickfaden told the East Bay Times that park officials are trying to get a sample of the coyote’s DNA from the woman’s clothing. From that, they will be able to identify and track the coyote. This aims to battle the mounting problem of coyotes following people in search of food in the area.
The problem seems to stem from the growing number of visitors to state and national parks during the pandemic. Strickfaden said that has led to an increase in interactions between humans and animals like coyotes. More people are feeding the coyotes, so more coyotes are beginning to beg for food.
He added that euthanizing an animal is a step they do not take lightly. If park officials are able to identify the coyote, they will first collar or haze the animal to discourage aggression.
Coyotes have shown up most frequently on roads through the park. In the past month, at least three coyotes died after cars hit them in the Marin Headlands.
Newsweek notes if an animal approaches you aggressively, loud noises and dramatic movements are your best bet to scare it off.