A coyote bit a Yellowstone skier when both were on the Grand Loop Road near the South Rim Drive and Canyon Village, with the cross-country skier treated for injuries and the coyote testing negative for rabies.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, January 28, at approximately 9:50 a.m., with the results of the rabies testing revealed today.
Witnesses took the 43-year-old woman to the Canyon Visitor Education Center, where rangers provided initial treatment for puncture wounds and lacerations to her head and arm. Rangers transported her to Mammoth Hot Springs by over-snow vehicle, and then she continued on to a medical facility.
Park staff temporarily closed the road, then positively identified and killed the coyote.
“Encounters like these are rare, but they can happen. We suspect this coyote may have been starving due to having porcupine quills in its lower jaw and inside its mouth. Its young age likely led to its poor condition and irregular behavior,” said Yellowstone wildlife biologist Doug Smith.
Photo by Jacob W. Frank, courtesy National Park Service. It is not a photo of the coyote in question, but rather a stock photo of a Yellowstone coyote.