For the second time in nearly a quarter of a century, a Columbus child was bitten by a coyote.
According to Ohio DNR Wildlife Communications Specialist Sarah Schott, the incident occurred on the evening of Sept. 6, at an apartment complex off of Obetz Road in south Columbus.
Schott said that, using witness accounts of the incident, several scenarios could have occured. One of the most likely, she said, is that of a younger coyote wandered into the nearby apartment complex and, after the animal was “potentially feeling crowded and cornered,” the bite occurred.
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“It sounded like there were several coyotes in the area, some juvenile ones, pups born earlier this year. They had hunted in the area and killed a groundhog and were likely eating that when one younger coyotes probably ended up in apartment complex,” she said.
Another possible scenario, Schott noted, is that the animals–which she said are likely accustomed to human contact in that area–bit or “nipped” the victim playfully, as young coyotes often do with each other to hone their hunting skills.
The victim did receive medical attention for the bite, but the DNR could not release additional details about condition.
“We’re reliant on what those individuals saw, so it’s hard to say with certainty why it happened,” she added.
Schott did say that others in Columbus should always be aware of their surroundings, and keep an eye out for coyotes, but also noted that this type of incident is “extremely rare,” and not likely to happen again soon.
“The last situation where we had a coyote and human conflict was 23 years ago,” Schott said. “Coyotes generally avoid people, that’s their best chance of surviving. The likelihood of this happening again is extremely slim.”
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