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

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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  • by Exterminator Location: WP on Jun 10, 2011 at 08:27 AM
    How about all you cry-babies pool your money and make me an offer to help allieviate your coyote problem? It's been a long time since there was a decent bounty offered for them. It used to be worth it for varmint hunters to go after them back when the military was using the fur in their foul weather gear. But since the tree-huggers cried about the use of fur and everything is now synthetic, you people are crying about too many fur-bearers! You can't have everything!
    • reply
      by Jeff on Jun 10, 2011 at 09:59 PM in reply to Exterminator
      How 'bout we pool our money and buy you a one way ticket out of town.
  • by Hallie Location: Walsenburg on Jun 10, 2011 at 07:02 AM
    Is it legal to use a shotgun in city limits?
    • reply
      by Tony on Jun 10, 2011 at 10:00 PM in reply to Hallie
      Yeah, sure why not.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 07:22 AM
    You sre 100% right. If you do call, don't call after 5p.m. or on the weekend. I had a coyote eating cats in my neighborhood(stratton meadows. I tried calling, I just got the run around
    • reply
      by Tony on Jun 9, 2011 at 08:09 PM in reply to
      Since the owners don't care about all of the songbirds the cats kill, coyotes eating a few cats seems like a good thing to me.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 03:27 AM
    I'm sorry for this woman and I hope she will be all right. As for just seeing a wild animal going through your neighborhood - what's the big deal? I saw coyotes and other wildlife in my neighborhood - all last Summer and there was no trouble. Leave them alone and they'll go on their way once they know they're not being threatened. Their habitat has been taken away from them - so live with that fact. As for pets and children - go outside with them. Most wildlife is out at night looking for food. There's no excuse for shooting an animal that appears to be alright and isn't bothering you! Nath, if you trap the animal, DOW can check it to see if it has rabies or some other disease!
    • reply
      by Bert on Jun 9, 2011 at 09:55 AM in reply to
      Nath if you kill the animal they can run the same tests, just quicker safer and easier.
  • by Lawrence Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 8, 2011 at 09:01 PM
    Imagine the fun people have, when they are out hiking in the wild and they run into wildlife. Amusing comes to mind in situations like this. Neat little social structure with everything in it's place and bam, something jumps out and confronts you. Maybe people like this should hide under their beds and tell their boss that they can't come to work because they are being stalked by wildlife. Take out a restraining order on it. Amusing, thanks KKTV for sharing.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 08:18 AM in reply to Lawrence
      Lawrence, this story is not about "hiking out in the wild", it is about populated city areas where humans live.
  • by VickieS Location: Fountain, CO on Jun 8, 2011 at 08:51 PM
    We lost one of our dogs just about a month ago to a coyote. The population is up and they are getting more bold lately.
    • reply
      by Erin S. on Jun 9, 2011 at 05:00 AM in reply to VickieS
      Didn't it occur to you to WATCH your dog while he was outside, or to use secure fencing that a wild animal couldn't climb over or dig under?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 08:20 AM in reply to Erin S.
        So, we should have to keep our domestic pets enclosed (locked up) in a wildlife-proof enclosure while they are on our property? Laughable at best.
  • by Connie Location: Colorado Springs on Jun 8, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    Forget about calling Wilflife for anything a neighbor had a rabid racoon in her yard two Summers ago and they did nothing. They said the animal had distemper. They must have ESP to have known that, racoons are nocturnal, it had rabies. The police officers on hand caught this animal. These guys did the Wildlife's job. What a freakin joke the Wildlife Dept. has become. If you see these coyotes again, best bet call the police dept or take are of it yourselves. Sorry about the traumatic attack on this poor woman. I hope the best for you.
  • by Westsider Location: 30th & King on Jun 8, 2011 at 03:29 PM
    "If you see a coyote in your neighborhood, call the Division of Wildlife. The number is 719-227-5200." Really? I called that number on 2 occasions for what may very well be the same coyote. Their response? "Throw sticks or rocks at them, we dont answer calls about coyotes..." It appears a woman has to be attacked before an agency will respond to numerous calls from the same area about animals capable of killing humans. Im all for getting along with the creatures that surround us, but I have an opposable thumb and a large brain to body mass ratio for a reason (in this case to operate a man made device to kill such animals). I swear- what has happened to this society? Get a permit? Better to ask forgiveness than permission in this case.
  • by Anonymous Location: Westside on Jun 8, 2011 at 01:21 PM
    I can't express how angry this makes me. 3 weeks ago I encountered 2 coyotes in my front yard (same area as this women) at 8am in the morning. Frightened to leave my house, I called Colorado Wildlife (only because they looked incredibly sick and its odd to see them during daylight) and you know what they told me? To make noise and throw some rocks at them, and that they don't do anything about coyotes. I know if it was some mountain lion or bear, it'd be taken more seriously. I realize we live at the foot of the mountains, but when something is out of the ordinary and acting sick-I believe it should be taken seriously so families and pets aren't put in danger. Im pretty convinced, even after this attack- nothing will change. Way to go!
    • reply
      by Bert on Jun 8, 2011 at 03:47 PM in reply to Anonymous
      I can express how angry I am at how pathetic and moronic our society has become, look at you for example. You really are so put out because you have to fend for yourself you were told to throw rocks and scare them away but that was just too much for you to do, that was too much to ask. But wait there is more you are now angry and distraught upset needing therapy. Do you see how pathetic you are starting to sound or do I need to continue? The fact is that the "wild" animals are in their enviorment and are aclimating to our intrusion into their area. Either deal with it or move to a area without wildlife. Learn to throw rocks learn to defend yourself (kind of like in the old days) be self supportive stop needing so much. For lack of a better phrase "be a man" grow a pair. But worst and best of all dont do nothing and then criticize, because you are either part of the problem or the solution.
      • reply
        by Q on Jun 9, 2011 at 07:27 AM in reply to Bert
        Bert...........I think I love you! I find myself not posting my comments much of the time because I read yours and you say everything if not more than I would post. You people need to pull up your big girl and boy panties and man up. Ma'am I hope your recovery is swift and pain free.
  • by rebekah Location: briargate area on Jun 8, 2011 at 10:04 AM
    I have been chases 3 times by foxes in the past few months and have barely made it back inside my apartment each time. I reported it to my apartment complex management but they didn't care.
    • reply
      by Tony on Jun 8, 2011 at 08:23 PM in reply to rebekah
      Foxes? Really? How tall are you?
    • reply
      by Lawrence on Jun 8, 2011 at 08:51 PM in reply to rebekah
      Good thing it wasn't a wolf, since it would havew huffed and puffed and blew the whole thing over. Foxes, really absurd considering the size difference. Maybe she is a rabbit and looked tasty. Females can't throw rocks anyway.
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