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2 people bitten by coyote in Mission Viejo on Saturday; trail closed

Two people were hospitalized after they were reportedly bitten by a coyote along a trail in Mission Viejo, prompting the city to close the trail on the Jeronimo Open Space, authorities said.

Mission Viejo Animal Services was called to a local hospital after a woman was admitted with a bite mark to her lower left calf, city spokeswoman Kelly Tokarski said.

The woman told officials she was out jogging in the bike lane along Jeronimo adjacent to the open space between Pavion and Silleros when the coyote bit her, leaving four punctures to her calf, Tokarski said.

About 6:30 a.m., Animal Services received a call from a second person who said they were bitten by the coyote on the left ankle while they were on the trail, Tokarski said. Further information about the person was not immediately disclosed.

Animal Services was conducting an investigation in conjunction with California Fish and Wildlife, Tokarski said.

“While coyote bites to humans are extremely rare, the city has elected to close the trail on the Jeronimo Open Space to pedestrians while both agencies work to mitigate the public safety issue,” officials said.

The Jeronimo Open Space runs between neighborhoods along Jeronimo Road and just west of Pavion Park and Philip J. Reilly Elementary School. It wasn’t immediately known how long the trail would be closed.

Source: Orange County Register

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