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Coyote killed by rangers after biting skier in Yellowstone National Park

Coyote on Daisy Geyser boardwalk in Yellowstone National Park. Taken on Feb. 11, 2017 (Source:...
Coyote on Daisy Geyser boardwalk in Yellowstone National Park. Taken on Feb. 11, 2017 (Source: NPS / Jacob W. Frank)(KMVT)
Published: Jan. 29, 2020 at 10:28 AM MST
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Yellowstone Park Rangers killed a coyote that bit a cross-country skier Tuesday in Yellowstone National Park.

Park officials say these instances are rare, and the coyote is undergoing a medical examination and rabies testing.

Yellowstone officials sent out a news release Wednesday saying the woman was bitten before 9:50 a.m. in the Canyon Village area. The 43-year-old woman was skiing on the Grand Loop Road near the South Rim Drive when she was bitten.

Witnesses took the woman to the Canyon Visitor Education Center, where rangers provided initial treatment for puncture wounds and lacerations to her head and arm.

Park staff temporarily closed the road, then positively identified and killed the coyote.

“Encounters like these are rare, but they can happen,” said wildlife biologist Doug Smith. "We suspect this coyote may have been starving due to having porcupine quills in its lower jaw and inside its mouth. Its young age likely led to its poor condition and irregular behavior.”

Rangers transported the woman to Mammoth Hot Springs by over-snow vehicle, and then she continued on to a medical facility.

Park officials remind visitors to be aware of their surroundings and to never feed wildlife. For more information about safety in the park, visit the park’s website.