Attack victim to begin rabies’ treatment
The victim of a coyote attack Monday has begun receiving rabies vaccinations and her father is likely to undergo treatment for the disease as well.
“At this point, we are considering it positive for rabies, only because there is a suspicious slide,” Steve Bridges said Wednesday from his home in Carmichael, Calif.
A second test at a county laboratory in Placerville Wednesday on the brain of the coyote that attacked Bridges’ daughter, Lauren, 4, was reportedly inconclusive. Results are still pending from a separate analysis being conducted in a state laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. These results should be available when the girl meets with her physician on Friday.
Bridges said he plans to begin receiving rabies vaccinations even though he was not bitten or scratched when he pulled the coyote off his daughter as it tore at her face and neck.
He considers the vaccinations a precaution.
“On one side, you get the shots,” he said. “On the other side, you’ve got rabies, so, I might as well get the shots.”
The treatment will be canceled if tests prove the coyote, killed at the scene, was not rabid.
Lauren Bridges is reportedly recovering steadily from the near-fatal attack and expressed more concern Wednesday that her father needs the shots than over her own wounds.
“She’s bounced back so well,” her father said.
In related news, the Tahoe Daily Tribune on Wednesday learned that a South Lake Tahoe man is receiving rabies vaccinations for a bite from a coyote he received about three weeks ago at Heavenly Ski Resort.
The victim, whose name was withheld by county health officials, was reportedly feeding the animal in the resort parking lot when it bit him on the hand.
The animal then ran away and could not be tested for the disease.
Authorities do not expect to be able to determine whether this animal was the same coyote that attacked Bridges outside a Saddle Road vacation rental near Heavenly.
However, the time frame of the bite at the resort parking lot coincides with the time that resort officials began noticing a coyote harassing skiers, prompting a call to county trappers to remove the animal.
Trappers were unable to locate the animal, and it has not been sighted at the resort for more than a week, said County Agricultural Commissioner Bill Snodgrass.
The timeframe and location of Monday’s attack, the parking lot bite and the harassment of skiers are similar. However, Snodgrass said it is unlikely that authorities will ever be able to determine if the same coyote was involved in all three events.
Snodgrass also reiterated warnings to not feed coyotes or other wild animals. Once they see humans as a potential food source, they lose their inhibitions about approaching people, he said. This can ultimately lead them to bite or attack a human.
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