PALM DESERT, Calif. - A woman walking near her Palm Desert home was attacked by a coyote that authorities later tracked down and killed, a Riverside County official said Monday.
Around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the 69-year-old resident of the Del Webb Sun City community was taking a predawn walk when a coyote wandering through the area bit her, according to Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.
He said it was the second such attack in the area in as many weeks.
The victim apparently did not provoke the animal, which was likely scouring the neighborhood for "easy food and water sources," Welsh said.
The woman was treated at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and has since been released.
A California Department of Fish and Game warden tracked down and fatally shot a coyote found close to where the attack occurred, according to Welsh.
On the evening of June 14, another 69-year-old woman gardening next to her Palm Desert residence was bitten by a coyote, he said.
Trappers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture located the animal and dispatched it, according to Welsh, who said rabies tests are pending on both coyotes.
According to wardens, most coyotes shy away from human contact, but so-called "urban coyotes" will wander into residential areas in search of small pets, dog and cat food and rubbish on which to feed.
They offered the following recommendations to reduce the likelihood of contact with coyotes:
-- keep trash lids tightly secured;
-- don't leave domestic pets outdoors overnight;
-- don't leave pet food outdoors overnight;
-- clear away brush and woodpiles where rodents may nest; and
-- use flashing lights or reflectors to frighten away or keep predatory
animals at bay.
For more information on how to deal with coyotes and other wild animals, visit the state fish and game website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/, or call 916-322-8911.