A man in Washington was attacked by a pack of coyotes while he was walking his dog and was lucky to escape with only lacerations as he punched and kicked his attackers in his defense.
Local reports indicate that Faron Scarberry of Kent was walking his dog near his home when a group of three coyotes appeared and went for his dog.
"They were coming around the bush and I guess they were going after my puggle," Scarberry told KCPQ. "One of them lunged up towards me and I kind of pushed it away with my hand and its front claws scratched my hand and wrist. Then one of the grabbed me by the pant leg and started shaking my leg so I just started kicking and hitting at them to get them off of me and they ran back under the fence."
Scarberry was able to take himself to the hospital after the incident, where doctors gave him 26 shots for rabies in his upper thigh and abdomen as well as treating several lacerations on his leg and hands before releasing him.
Wildlife experts explain that during the winter months, coyotes have to become scavengers due to the limited food supply of the season. Experts warn that people who live in areas with coyote populations should be mindful to keep trash cans covered and to keep an eye on pets that may be outside. Coyotes are jittery creatures and can be scared away with loud noises, experts added.
"They rely heavily on fruit. All the fruit is gone now, so they're now in scavenging mode – cats, little dogs are a treat, and they'll eat them," Sgt. Kim Chandler, of the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in a statement.
Still, Scarberry is concerned that the attack happened so close to a school and said more needs to be done to protect the children.
"The elementary school is right at the back of our property and the kids walk here to and from school," Scarberry said. "I don't want any of the kids to get hurt."