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Tourist bitten after foolishly luring in coyote at national park: 'What did you think was gonna happen?'

"That poor coyote shouldn't be anywhere near that dangerous man!"

"That poor coyote shouldn't be anywhere near that dangerous man!"

Photo Credit: Instagram

Tourist sees wild coyote. Tourist holds hand out toward wild coyote. Wild coyote approaches tourist. What do you think happens next?

You didn't have to be at the scene of the incident to confirm your prediction, as video footage uploaded to the Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) Instagram account showed exactly what happened.

It was a snowy day at Mammoth Lakes in California when one tourist seemed to forget that coyotes are not domesticated creatures. While this person obviously had their heart in the right place, noting that the animal was probably freezing in the icy conditions, they didn't help themselves or the coyote by encouraging it to come closer.

As the Visit Mammoth website notes: "Coyotes are not your average dogs — they are not to be messed with. They are smart, and learn quickly. Coyotes should never be fed or approached by humans."

This tourist learned that lesson the hard way, with the coyote biting their hand as they coaxed it closer.

"Ow!" the tourist exclaimed. "... Son of a b**** got me! Goddam coyotes!"

If this tourist was honest with themselves, though, it wasn't the coyote's fault that it struck.

Even if it wasn't looking to attack, it still could have interpreted the man as a threat, or as offering it some food, unaware it was a hand. It's unclear what the man expected the wild coyote to do with his outstretched hand, in any case. The Mammoth area is home to bears, mountain lions, mule deer, tule elk, and a range of other creatures. But as Visit Mammoth observed, "even the cutest little squirrel can bite you."

That's why visitors need to keep their distance, not only for the safety of the local animal inhabitants but also to avoid a nasty bite or worse.

What's more, when animals become comfortable around humans, they lower their inhibitions. For some, that puts them more at risk of predators, but it also makes others more likely to attack overcurious humans. If that happens, the animal might be found and euthanised for fears it will do so again.

If this tourist really cared about the plight of this wild coyote, they would have kept their distance and allowed it to deal with the conditions in its own way. The interaction obviously caused the individual harm and put the coyote in danger. Meanwhile, bystanders could have been distressed by the incident, especially young ones, which would have reduced their enjoyment and appreciation of the wonders that nature holds when you treat it with the appropriate respect.

Commenters on Instagram could not believe the tourist thought their actions were a good idea.

"What did you think was gonna happen with a wild predator?" one user questioned. 

"That poor coyote shouldn't be anywhere near that dangerous man!" another added.

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