Coyotes attack Seattle man

Coyotes recently mauled a man in his back yard in Kent, Washington.

Faron Scarberry was walking his dog when he was attacked and bitten several times. 

"They come up toward my face, and I kind of blocked them and pushed them away, and that's when the one grabbed me by the leg," he told KOMO/4 News.

He spent the night in a hospital emergency room, receiving 26 rabies shots.

A paper by Ohio State University researchers Lynsey A. White and Stanley D. Gehrt reveals there were 142 coyote attacks on 159 humans in Canada and the United States between 1960 and 2006.

Approximately 37 percent were deemed to be "predatory", and another 22 percent were considered "investigative in nature".

The vast majority of attacks on children were predatory, whereas most of the adults were caught up in nonpredatory situations.

In 30 percent of incidents, residents had been intentionally or accidentally feeding the animals beforehand, according to the study.

"Most of these incidents (70%) occurred on or immediately adjacent to the victim’s residence," White and Gehrt wrote. "One quarter of attacks (25%) occurred in parks. Smaller numbers of attacks occurred in commercial areas (such as restaurant parking lots) (4%) and golf courses (1%)."

They noted that coyotes have expanded their range across North America.

"Increasingly, humans in many urban and suburban areas are living in close proximity to coyotes," they pointed out. "What is unclear, however, is the level of threat that these carnivores pose to human health and safety."

The Stanley Park Ecology Society operates a program called Co-Existing With Coyotes.

It includes tips for prevention and an online reporting form if you see any of these creatures.

Anyone who witnesses a coyote displaying aggressive or threatening behaviour should immediately call the B.C. Ministry of Environment call centre at 1-877-952-7277.

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