A Kelowna woman says she’s still shaken up following a close encounter with coyotes on Canada Day.
Alicia Baker says she and her dog were running on her privately owned trail in the Kirschner Mountain area, when the late-morning incident occurred.
According to Baker, she noticed something out of the corner of her eye and mistook it for her dog, Henry, a six-year-old Bouvier mix.
“Out of my peripheral vision, by my left calf, I saw some motion and kind of a beige colour, so I figured it was Henry,” Baker told Global News.
“I took my headphones out to say ‘Hey, Henry,’ and it was two coyotes.”
Baker said she was shocked at how close the coyotes were to her.
“I could reach down and pet them,” she said, adding there was a third coyote nearby and believes there were more.
While coyote attacks on humans are rare, Baker said she believes they were getting ready to attack her.
“Oh, they were definitely going for me,” she said. “They had no interest in Henry — they were interested in me.”
Baker credited her dog for preventing that from happening.
“Before I had a chance to really think or react or anything like that, Henry came perpendicularly from me,” she said.
According to Baker, Henry, who was unleashed at the time, protected her by placing himself between her and the coyotes.
That’s when Baker said she did what you’re not supposed to do — start running, as did the dog.
“(Henry) basically got their attention to chase him instead of me,” she said. “It makes sense now looking back at it, but, at the time, I was like, ‘Dude, what are you doing running away from me?”
Henry suffered injuries during the ordeal and had to receive emergency treatment.
“Turned out he had two bites and the lower bite was pretty bad,” Baker said.
Baker said she was “absolutely terrified,” and that she now runs with bear spray, a horn and does not use headphones so she can be more aware of her surroundings.