Temperatures on Monday were expected to be in the 60s with nothing but sunshine. It seemed like the perfect time for an early morning hike – or so Mark Andrus thought.
His hikes start at 4:30 a.m., and on Monday they started at Rock Canyon just above the Provo LDS Temple and residential areas.
“I was heading to Rock Canyon to do our 4 mile morning hike when just 5 minutes (from) the parking lot, my dog was attacked by at least two coyotes,” Andrus wrote in an email to the Daily Herald.
His dog Athena walked close to him but quickly fled to the left as if catching an envoy, Andrus noticed.
“She was no more than 40 feet from me when she gave rapid barking followed by lots of yelping, then coyote barking, yelping and yelping,” Andrus wrote. “I ran over to my dog’s yelps and called her to come over and she came over to me yelping like she was hurt. I grabbed her and yelled at them to get out of there. here but they were going crazy and wouldn’t leave us I grabbed her by the collar and we ran to the car and all the while they yelped and followed us at a distance.
He said his dog being attacked so close to him was “like a horror movie”.
“We’re both pretty traumatized,” Andrus said.
Athena had three bite marks on her hindquarters that were bleeding, he reported.
“My dog is wearing a bright headlight and so am I, but they were just off the trail,” Andrus said of meeting him. “I think hikers and dog owners in the area should be aware that there are some pretty cheeky and aggressive coyotes around the Rock Canyon trailhead.”
sergeant. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Department, who is used to hiking in the county’s eastern hills, said having coyotes this far up the mountain is not unheard of.
“There’s not much we can do about it,” Cannon said. As a general rule, he recommended, if you make a lot of noise, they’ll go away.
Cannon noted that coyotes are nocturnal hunters and while Andrus was hiking it was still dark.
According to an article by outdoor advice website advnture.com, oyotes can run up to 40 mph, much faster than humans, and trying to flee can trigger a hunting response in animals. If you come face to face with one, don’t turn your back on it, maintain eye contact, make noise, and wave your arms or walking sticks to scare it away. If he doesn’t move, step back slowly and calmly.