Do coyotes ever attack people? (Not Urgent)

Based on what you posted in the GD thread on “Race”, I was assuming that was just some sloppy writing. Still, you never know what people are going to take out of reading a GQ thread…

I work at a shopping center that is still fairly new to the desert area where it is located, and I go in at least 2 days a week at 5:00 AM. I frequently see coyotes walking through the parking lot, often just one or two at a time.

Honestly, I have never ventured out of my truck until they wander off, but aside from stopping when I initially pull up they do not seem to pay any attention to me, and do not show any aggression or curiosity toward me and just continue on. I haven’t heard of any attacks locally either, aside from the occasional missing lap dog that gets blamed on a kidnapping coyote.


I remember that quite well and people are still having issues with aggressive coyotes around there. During the years I did SAR work there were only a few instances with aggressive coyotes in the woods, but they can get your attention when they want to.

One of the guys on my hunting lease climbed out of his tree stand and found himself in the midst of a pack of coyotes. He’d stayed in his stand until too dark to legally shoot. He said they largely ignored him as he strolled to his 4-wheeler. A few looked at him curiously but there seemed to be no threat. We see (and hear) coyotes all the time, but we all found the behavior very odd. According to him it was a small group (4-5).

One instance really doesn’t answer the OP, but I figured I’d share anyway.

They always run like they stole something when they see me. (There’s a small pack that seems to lair in a few acres of undeveloped land a couple blocks from my house.)

I’m a hell of a lot bigger than a coyote, though. That may have something to do with it.

I don’t think you could really call this an attack, but a few months ago I was riding my bike at night. I was riding in a street which parallels a power line corridor (think greenbelt separating two streets) when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a brownish gray blur streaking towards me. My first thought was “oh great, a dog is going to chase me.” The blur got close, but pulled up short. I thought to myself “that’s strange, it gave up.” Then it dawned on me that the blur was silent as it was running towards me. That’s not typical dog behavior. I slowed and looked back, it was then I saw the ears and bushy tail. A coyote!

I live in a suburb in the San Fernando valley.

I’ve seen them in both Tampa and St. Petersburg, always very late at night or very early in the morning, which ever you prefer. The several (one or two at a time) I’ve seen in Tampa were crossing the Veterans Expressway close to the airport; the two I saw in St. Pete were in the rear parking lot of a small industrial park. From my experience with them in South Dakota, they are not like dogs; talking to them will get you nowhere.

Big fire in Griffith Park (Los Angeles) a couple of years back destroyed a lot of Coyote habitat and hunting grounds, and there was a news report of a coyote coming into a playground in the foothills and grabbing a toddler and trying to run off with him.

Nanny saw it and saved the kid. As others have said, very rare, but absolutely happens at times.

I never claimed he did. Why in the world would you think that?

I saw a coyote in Central Park in Burnaby, on the border of Vancouver, BC. It came out of the woods and started sneaking up on a little kid playing in the sandbox while Dad had wandered off to look at the bushes or something. It ran away as soon as I yelled at it and took a step in that direction.

I guess the supply of squirrels and small dogs was low that year. I’ve seen quite a few over the years, and never had one, or even a group, be aggressive at all.

There was a coyote attack that happened about a mile from where I am ( a suburb of NYC)- big news locally
Story here

I’ve lived in Wyoming for four years, and Michigan for over twenty. Both have coyotes. I don’t know anyone who’s afraid of them. I never was. I have rarely seen them except from a car, and I spend a fair amount of time outdoors, hiking and bird hunting.

I doubt adults have much to worry about, and certainly not armed adults. The folk singer lady was an isolated case and got a lot of attention because it was a one of a kind incident. Sad thing, that.

I wouldn’t leave infants or toddler unattended in coyote country, though. They are at some risk.

For the record, the fauna I worry about, in descending order, when hiking are:


rattlesnakes (below about 8000 feet)


mountain lions (probably irrational -they hardly ever eat adult humans)

black bears (same comment as above)

Coyotes don’t make the list.

Of course, many of the coyote attacks were on salesmen, claims adjusters, and executives of the Acme Corp.

same here, i saw one in the shore acres area of st. pete. it ran right in front of the car i was in and headed into the park we were passing. it was late at night, maybe around midnight or so.