ONLY ON 11 NEWS: Coyote Attacks Springs Woman In Her Backyard

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A Colorado Springs woman is still shaken up after being attacked by a coyote, right behind her westside condo near Fillmore and Mesa.

Kateri Kerwin said during the attack, her fight or flight instinct kicked in. She wants other people to be on the lookout for this dangerous and potentially sick coyote.

Kerwin had just finished a round of treatment for breast cancer and is now also recovering from this wild coyote attack.

“I was hysterical. The first bite you're just in shock and it's just searing pain," Kerwin said.

Friday afternoon Kerwin was right outside her condo gardening with a friend who flew in to help with her breast cancer recovery. Her friend walked away, and Kerwin noticed a coyote just inches from her face.

"We looked at each other and I looked at his body and then he just pounced," Kerwin said.

The coyote bit her twice before she could fight it off with a bag of potting soil, giving her just enough time to get to the stairs. Several reports say this animal has been spotted a number of times near the Fontmore area.

Wildlife officials say this kind of attack is pretty rare, even though this time of year, we start to see more coyotes roaming about.

"Coyotes have extra mouths to feed. They've given birth and they've got young ones in the den and so their need for food goes up, they're activity goes up," said Michael Seraphin, with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

This latest attack was on the west side of town, but coyotes are adaptable and can be found almost anywhere in Southern Colorado.

"They're fairly evenly dispersed throughout all of the Pikes Peak Region," said Seraphin.

Wildlife experts suspect the coyote involved in this attack may be sick.

"He was very thin and had wiry hair, the eyes, and he didn't look well," said Kerwin.

Kerwin spent hours in the emergency room getting five rabies shots. Once an avid fan of the outdoors, she's now going to use a bit more caution.

"For a little while I'll be scared. I'll be scared to be coming around here alone, for a little while," said Kerwin.

Kerwin says she still needs five more follow-up shots to prevent rabies.

Even though these attacks are rare, wildlife officials remind all of us that coyotes are wild animals. Just like with bears, avoid leaving trash or pet food outside- that can attract coyotes. While the animals are generally afraid of people, small pets can be targets. If you do come in contact with a coyote, the experts say to make a lot of noise.

"Yell at it, discourage it, spray it with the hose, do what you can do safely," said Seraphin.

11 News contacted the wild animal department of the USDA who said they've applied for a permit to find and trap the animal.

If you see a coyote in your neighborhood, call the Division of Wildlife. The number is 719-227-5200.

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