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'Growling, teeth showing' coyote charged York Co. man, 2 dogs

Capturing a Coyote

Licensed trapper Walter English captures a coyote in Mount Holly.
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Licensed trapper Walter English captures a coyote in Mount Holly.

A York County man said he and his dogs were attacked by a coyote while out running Saturday.

Quinton Huseman said he was running near Lookout Park and Shoreline Parkway in Tega Cay with his two Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, Gracie and Lillie. He made it to the top of a hill and heard Lillie yelp, he said.

"The coyote had bit her in the back left, and was coming for me," he said. It did not draw blood, he said.

He said his dogs are big dogs, but the coyote was about three-quarters their size.

"Growling, teeth showing, I thought this thing is rabid," he said. "It was coming right at me."

He said his second dog chased the coyote away.

He said he called the Tega Cay Police Department, but they told him they weren't able to do anything.

Efforts to obtain comment from the police department were unsuccessful.

Greg Lucas with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said coyotes usually flee when confronted by humans, but can be aggressive toward small animals.

“We get occasional reports of folks having encounters with coyotes, but they generally are not a danger to humans," Lucas said. “If the coyote was rabid, it’s kind of all bets are off.”

Lucas said anyone who may have encountered a rabid animal should contact the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Lucas said if residents see a coyote not presenting rabid symptoms they should slowly back away.

“It’s very atypical for a coyote to confront a person,” he said.

City officials approved a two-week operation that resulted in the capture and euthanization of four coyotes in Tega Cay in 2017 as part of the city's coyote management plan in response to resident complaints about the presence of coyotes and reported attacks on pets.

Tega Cay isn't alone. There also have been more sightings throughout York County. Coyote sightings also have become common in the Charlotte area, with reports of dead or missing pets cropping up, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Huseman said Lillie is up to date on rabies shots, so the veterinarian said she should be fine.

"It came after a dog that was bigger than her," Huseman said. "My fear was, we have kids who walk down there all the time."

Hannah Smoot: 803-329-4068, @hgsmoot
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