GIBSON TOWNSHIP — Travis Rippy and his dog, Koda, were walking behind their home in South Gibson on Monday.
Rippy said Koda ran ahead, and that’s when their daily walk took an unusual turn.
“All of a sudden I heard this commotion in the woods. When I came over the hill, I saw him and the coyote kind of wrestling around on the ground. So I ran down as fast as I could to try to stop it. I grabbed him by his collar and kind of pulled him away, and at that time I guess the coyote grabbed a hold of me,” said Rippy.
Rippy then shot and killed the coyote. He believes the animal was defending her pups.
“Basically it was protecting its den and came running out of the den after the dog, I imagine,” said Rippy.
Rippy said he never encountered a coyote before, but the Pennsylvania Game Commission said the coyote population is on the rise.
“It’s a large canine population in our region. They have become more prevalent in the last 20 to 30 years,” said Kevin Wenner from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
A biologist for the game commission said it’s rare for a coyote to actually attack a human. The last time it happened in the Commonwealth was in the mid 1990’s.
“If a rodent population, mice and small mammals are available that’s what they’re going to take advantage of,” said Wenner.
The dog, Koda, is fine after the scuffle with the coyote.
However, Rippy will spend the next few weeks getting rabies shots as a precaution.
“Hopefully everything works out good, and it’s just good stories and I have the scars to talk about,” said Rippy.
The game commission stresses that this type of attack is rare.
However, if you encounter a coyote or any other wild animal leave it alone and call the game commission.