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CPW News Release
CPW News Release
Yuma resident bit by coyote, now going through rabies protocol

Jason Clay
Northeast Region Public Information Officer

Yuma resident bit by coyote, now going through rabies protocol 

YUMA, Colo. - Multiple families trying to pet and play with a coyote pup just north of the Yuma District Hospital led to a woman being bit by it on Tuesday.

The bite left just minor injuries, but the woman is now going through rabies protocol.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers became aware of the incident after receiving a call from the doctor’s office where the patient was seen. Upon investigation, it was apparent this young coyote had been fed by people in the community, causing it to become habituated. When wildlife officers went to seize the coyote, which had been taken in by another individual to his shop, the coyote was wearing a dog collar and had a leash on it.

“This case should serve as a reminder to leave baby wildlife alone and to not feed wildlife,” said Wildlife Officer Josh Melby. “The lady who got bit is going through rabies shots now, which is unpleasant and expensive.”

In these cases, wildlife is always the ultimate loser. The coyote pup was euthanized so a brain sample could be submitted to the Northeast Colorado Health Department for rabies testing. Those results are still pending.

Rabies is a fatal disease of the nervous system. The only way to test for it is through laboratory examination of brain tissue. There is no effective treatment for rabies; however, a series of vaccinations and treatments immediately following exposure may prevent infection in humans (called “post-exposure prophylaxis”).

The feeding of big game animals in Colorado, including coyotes and foxes, is illegal. Fines start at $100 plus surcharges, but the real consequences often come to members in the community, who may or may not even be involved in these illegal feeding cases.

When wildlife are fed by humans, they become habituated and expect to receive a food award from people. That can lead to aggressive encounters, and even attacks. Wildlife officers across the state see the problem frequently with deer, elk, bears, coyotes, foxes and more. 

CPW reminds citizens that all wildlife is just that, wild, and they can act unpredictably. Wildlife experts urge the public to always leave young wildlife alone and to never attempt to feed wild animals, whether directly by putting out food for them or indirectly by having food sources around your home that they can access.

To learn more about coyotes and conflicts with them in Colorado, please visit our website by clicking here.

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