Woman bitten by coyote talks about terrifying encounter

Woman bitten by coyote talks about terrifying encounter
Isabel Martinez in her usual lunch break spot where the bite happened. (Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
(Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It was the same route Isabel Martinez walks, to the same end location as the one lunch break she will never forget.

Martinez couldn't help but laugh hysterically as she walked out to her silver sedan, parked in the empty dirt lot at 383 N. Commerce Park Loop in Tucson, and told the story to Tucson News Now.

"I'm laughing now. I was terrified. I was terrified at first," she said.

On Monday, Jan. 15, Martinez was relaxing in her car with the seat leaning back and the driver's side door open. She said all of a sudden she felt a sharp pinch on her thigh.

She said she thought it was one of her coworkers giving her a playful hello, until she looked up and saw a small, male coyote with a small limp staring her in the face.

She quickly shut the door and watched from inside as the coyote circled the vehicle and smacked its front paws against her door.

"I banged my door to scare him away. He backed off a little bit," she said.

The coyote did not go away quietly. It hung around until she was able to 'shoo' it away.

She went straight inside her work's office to tell a coworker what had happened.

"I said, 'I don't know how weird this sounds, but I just got bit by a coyote outside,'" she said. "We started Google-ing what do you do next?"

What she did next was go to the hospital and started treatments on the small bite marks on her thigh. She shared photos of the small bite marks and subsequent 10 preventative rabies shots she's endured since Monday.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) said they have caught and euthanized what they think is Martinez's coyote.

But the Tucson woman isn't taking any chances.

"I'm like 'Okay. I'm going to continue to do the whole treatment.' Because, what if it's not him?"

AZGFD spokesman Mark Hart said they are continuing to run tests on the coyote that was captured. They submitted samples for rabies testing on Wednesday, Jan. 17. He said the coyote was tranquilized to sleep outside of Martinez's office and then was euthanized by gunshot.

Until she knows for sure, Martinez isn't taking any chances.

"Today I came out and closed my door," she said, but mentioned she'll eventually go back to her old ways. "I'm not going to let a coyote chase me from my work."

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