A female guard at a Kennecott Utah Copper site experienced an unprovoked and unusual attack from a seemingly healthy coyote on Monday, October 8. The unnamed woman is a contracted security officer.

She was posted at the Kennecott entrance to the roughly 100,000-acre Salt Lake City facility when a coyote entered her booth through a door. It lunged for her and bit her arm. “She put up her arm to defend herself, and she did get several bites on her forearm,” Kennecott spokesperson Kyle Bennett told reporters. “She was eventually able to get the animal out of the security station, and she called for backup.”

A Unified police officer responded to the scene and shot the animal on sight. Officials initially thought the coyote may be rabid. The animal’s head was sent to a Utah Department of Health laboratory to test for rabies. It tested negative.

The woman was taken to Jordan Valley Medical Center. She received a few stitches and was later released.

Officials call this a rare and strange attack. With rabies out of the picture, officials are puzzled as to what could have led to this attack. The rest of the coyote’s body has been sent to the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for a necropsy, which officials hope will lead to more clues as to why the coyote attacked.

Image from Mike Renlund (deltaMike) on the flickr Creative Commons

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