Florida man attacked by aggressive coyote reportedly fought it off with a coffee cup
In his neighbourhood in Lake County, Florida, Ben Pool says he's often heard coyotes - but he rarely sees them in the flesh. This all changed on Friday, when he came face-to-face with one, and ended up defending himself with - of all things - a coffee cup.
According to Orlando's WESH-TV, Ben was out for a walk with his dog when the pair were attacked by a particularly aggressive coyote. The coyote first confronted his dog before it took any notice of him. "My dog and a coyote were standing face to face, fixing to go at it," Pool told the news channel.
He was able to get the two animals apart after some effort, but it was at this point that the coyote attacked him instead. The coyote, according to Ben, was unlike any other he'd seen in the past. And when he tried to scare it off by making noise, it only got more aggressive. He explained:
"He came at my legs, first, I smashed him in the side of the head with the cup. He came at me again, I smashed him again and then he jumped up at my face, when he did that I jumped back, smacked him in the side of the head, he screamed and he went down."
For a little context, this isn't your average flimsy Starbucks coffee cup, but a reusable cup that has a little more weight to it. On top of being good for the environment, it also turned out to be a handy way to keep the coyotes at bay (the more you know).
Still, the makeshift weapon did little to scare the animal away, leading Ben to head back to his truck to grab his gun - but the animal tried to follow him inside. He managed to get inside the vehicle, but even then, with a door between them, the coyote didn't let up whatsoever.
"I rolled the window down, went three or four times at it, and finally, I ran over it. No regret, none," he told the station. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
Following the attack, Ben is getting frequent check-ups for his dog, to make sure that there was no potential rabies during their scrap. He is also now calling for more support from state and local officials with these kinds of incidents, with coyote populations in the area reportedly becoming a growing concern for locals.
"If I would have been bitten, everyone would have been here in a heartbeat doing something," the Florida man said. "But since I wasn't bitten, nobody was going to come and do anything."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advises that any dog owners in the area keep their pets on a short leash, and otherwise keep them in enclosed areas in order to avoid any potential conflicts with coyotes.