Hikers on edge after coyote attack in Marin County's Tennessee Valley this week

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ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Hikers uneasy after Tennessee Valley coyote attack this week
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Local hikers in Marin County are uneasy after a woman hiking was attacked by an aggressive coyote on Tuesday in Tennessee Valley

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A hike in Marin County's Tennessee Valley brings people close to nature.

But the question is, how close is too close when a coyote roams the beach?

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"I was a little afraid," Dieredre Schaefer said after seeing one. "My friend picked up a stick..."

Others hikers, like Rich Mertes, saw the coyote too.

"It looked like a younger one, adolescent," Mertes said, "not surprised to see a coyote but very surprised it walked toward us."

And everyone was surprised to learn that on Tuesday, a coyote attacked a hiker in the same spot.

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We don't know much about the woman the coyote attacked, only that she told park rangers it bit her on the leg and seemed to be aggressive.

Coyote experts tell us that is unusual.

Coyotes need a good reason to attack.

Janet Kessler, also known as the Coyote Lady, has devoted her life to studying and documenting these animals.

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"You have to walk away from a coyote," Kessler said, The moment you see it, walk away from it."

Kessler notes that at this time of the year, Coyotes remain very protective of their pups, their food, or their perceived territory. When they act out, blame the humans who may not read the signs about attacking or feeding the animals.

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"You have to look at what happened before the attack," Kessler explained, "if they wanted selfies or to Get close? No good. Walk away from coyotes. We're not on their menu."

The attack victim has been treated and released from medical care.

The Golden Gate National Recreation area is now trying to identify that coyote from DNA on the victim's clothing.