APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - It was early in the morning when a woman and her husband running along Cedar Isle Park in Apple Valley got quite the fright.
What they believe was a coyote, seemingly threatened when the two ran by it on one of the park's footbridges, jumped and bit the 57-year-old woman in the face, police said.
“I’ve never seen an incident like this but I feel confident that it was not an aggressive attack by a wild animal,” Chief Jon Rechtzigel of the Apple Valley Police Department said. "It was a defensive reactionary type thing by the animal—it wasn’t snarling, growling, baring its teeth and coming after her, it was just trying to get by.”
She was taken to the hospital and treated for her injury, beginning the process of getting rabies shots just to be safe. Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate the animal.
Because of the unusual nature of the incident and out of concern for public safety, the police asked the Minnesota DNR and Animal Humane Society to help in the investigation.
Investigators found that the animal's behavior is consistent with a coyote. Officials also said that coyotes are "common in the metro area and incidents of aggression are extremely rare."