Rabid Coyotes or Something Worse?

A recent warning about expected increases in “rabid” coyote attacks in Los Angeles (CityWatch) chronicles multiple reports of a growing trend of wild animal attacks in California and elsewhere.

An LA Times article, Living with the Coyote Next Door, is cited, reporting incidents of increasing aggression by coyotes. Although there was no proof offered of an increase in rabid coyotes, it did mention the rapid increases (from 2 per year to 13 in 2016) of people seeking rabies shots because of coyote bites. CityWatch called the increases “a bit unsettling.”

Then the article expands its reporting to include the multitude of coyote attacks reported nationwide. In some of these, the animal was caught and tested positive to rabies, and some did not. Here’s one example:

8/22/17 (Kingsbury, NY) – A woman reported getting attacked by a “rabid” coyote in the woods. “He just kept coming, he attacked me 10 or 15 times,” She finally escaped in a lake, but not before sustaining, “several injuries to her arms, her legs, face and scalp.”

Most of the coyote aggression has been attributed to rabies. But almost all of these are supposition based on thin anecdotal evidence, as they rarely get a hold of the animal for testing. For those, the aggression is attributed to the animals’ growing familiarity with humans, and thus a loss of the usual fears which keep them away.

Just Google “coyote attack” and you’ll read incident upon incident of attacks, and authorities warning that this is an “ongoing” or “escalating problem.” And although in some of the cases, they’ve tested and found the animal to be infected with rabies, most did not. Their only proof of rabies was the aggressive behavior.

There is another probable cause to this problem, which is starting to seem pandemic in scope.

Scientists have estimated that over half of the animal population is infected with a parasite known as T-Gondii, and as I’ve documented this on these pages, along with the fact that they’re only just now starting to attribute to this parasite to aggressive behavior in humans and animals. For more info on this parasite, check out our FAQ page.

Could this growing trend be the result of the T-Gondii infection spreading, or is something even more terrifying?

More to come.

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