Coyote That Mauled Woman Having Picnic on the Loose in North Carolina

Police and wildlife officials in Greensboro, North Carolina, have urged residents to avoid trails at a local marina following a series of suspected coyote attacks.

The Greensboro Police Department said officers responded to the Lake Brandt marina at 5945 Lake Brandt Road shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday, following reports that an animal was on the loose in the area and may present a threat to the public.

An effort to humanely trap the animal was launched after it was described as possibly being a coyote or a "similar wild species," police said.

There were at least six reported attacks in the area on Friday and Saturday, with four people believed to have been bitten, according to media outlet WFMY. Police said officers were working with Guilford County Animal Control to remove the threat.

David Broach, a Greensboro man who said he was attacked while out mountain biking in the area, claimed a coyote had charged at him on the Wild Turkey Trail. He was not bitten, but had to use his bike to protect himself during the incident.

"I stopped on my bike and as soon as that thing saw me, it started running towards me, and that was terrifying," Broach told WFMY about the close encounter on Saturday. "It was not defending itself, it was attacking, and that's what's very scary."

After about half a minute, Broach said he got rid of the coyote by using pepper spray, but told WFMY it tried to attack him one more time before finally leaving the area.

In another incident on Saturday, a woman identified only as Allison said she had to go to hospital for rabies shots after being bitten multiple times by an animal while on a picnic with a friend. She was left with over a dozen puncture wounds, Fox8 reported.

She said: "We were sitting and eating, and we were just about to leave when we had put all our food away when a coyote came up behind me and my friend.

"It came up behind us very quietly, and we didn't see it approaching. All of the sudden, I saw the look on my friend's face, and I turned around, and it was right behind me."

The woman said she and her friend were forced to run into nearby water to escape the animal, which grabbed her hand and started to pull. She said: "It was kind of a grayish, brown color. It looked like a medium-sized dog. My friend thought it was a fox at first, but I've seen pictures of coyotes. At that moment, I thought it was a coyote."

Police said that some trails around the marina were closed, with those impacted being marked with crime scene tape, although no crime had been committed.

It said: "The tape is there to merely prevent entry to the trails until the animal can be contained. Citizens are advised to stay off the trails until it is deemed safe. The marina is open to the public and the affected trails have also been posted with signage."

"Coyotes, like other wildlife, are adapting to the urban-suburban environment and are opportunistic in finding food and resources available in these places," the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) explains online in a species fact sheet.

A coyote stands in the animal park of Sainte-Croix on November 22, 2018, in Rhodes, eastern France, as six specimen are recently welcomed for the first time. Police and wildlife experts in Greensboro, North Carolina, have urged residents to avoid trails at a local marina after a series of suspected coyote attacks. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images