CBC News, May 17, 2018 − ‘I swung around and hit it right in the jaw’: Woman recalls fighting off coyote that attacked dog

Dog walker heard screams near Grouse Mountain and ran to help

Susana da Silva · Posted: May 17, 2018 10:10 PM PT | Last Updated: May 17

Denise Baker-Grant can’t believe she was able to fight off a coyote fighting a woman’s dog. (Susana da Silva/CBC News)

Dog walker Denise Baker-Grant still can’t believe what she did Wednesday.

Baker-Grant was parking her truck near a North Shore mountain trail, getting ready to walk her dogs, when she heard a woman screaming.

She ran in the direction of the sound and saw a woman with a dog being attacked by a coyote.

“And I found this lady holding her dog, and a coyote had it on the back end, and she was trying to pull, and the coyote was pulling.”

Baker-Grant reenacts the way the screaming woman was holding her dog as the coyote pulled at it. (James Mulleder/CBC)

She says the woman was hugging the medium-sized dog, while the coyote was on its hind legs, front paws leaning on her, with her dog’s rear end in its mouth.

“I came around behind it and grabbed it behind the neck and I swung around and hit it right in the jaw,” Baker-Grant said.

She said the coyote released the dog, and she had to kick the animal a couple times before it left. 

Baker-Grant said the dog owner, who didn’t speak English, and her dog seemed shaken, but were doing okay. She took them back to her car to clean the dog’s wounds with a first-aid kit she carries.

“It only had 2 or 3 little holes in it,” she said.

That dog was much luckier than a three-year-old Burnaby boy who was attacked by a coyote on Tuesday He needed close to 150 stitches to close his wounds.

Conservation officers say they believe they tracked down the coyote and euthanized it.

Attacks rare

The Stanley Park Ecology Society says coyote attacks on humans are unusual and the animals are normally quite shy.

Greg Hart, the society’s urban wildlife coordinator said the attacks occur less than once a year and usually can be traced to people deliberately feeding the animals.

“The animals get habituated and do start to become more comfortable and lose fear of people.”

Neighbour John Macnaughton took these photos around the time a three-year-old boy was attacked in a Burnaby neighbourhood. He said coyotes aren’t an unusual sight in the area. (John Macnaughton)

Hart said most attacks on dogs occur when they are off leash.

“This is the one time of year coyotes will act defensively around their dens and their young. An off-leash dog running through the woods might be perceived as a threat.”

If confronted by a coyote, people should make a loud noise and walk away, slowly.

‘I am so sore’

Baker-Grant said in all the confusion, she did not notify conservation officers. One local officer said its office did not receive a report, which means the coyote could still be in the area.

Baker-Grant says she is feeling sore after the encounter.

“I still don’t know how I threw the coyote, because I tried to do that to my big dog at home and I was like, there is no way I could have lifted him, but that explains why I am so sore,” she said.

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