AKRON -- They are one of the most adaptable animals on earth. These days, coyotes are everywhere.
Recently, a Cuyahoga Falls man came face to face with one on a hike near Akron.
WKYC Photojournalist Carl Bachtel shares his story and what you can do if you encounter a coyote.
For Jeff Tallent, it was just a walk on the trails of Cascade Valley MetroPark in Akron. That is, until he noticed he wasn't alone.
"As I was walking down the path, it came down the hill and crossed right over the path and went slightly down the other side of the hill, descending towards wherever it was going. It was hidden," Tallent said.
It was a coyote, and Jeff was alone on the trail.
"I stopped and observed it, and it was probably about 30 to 40 feet away," he said.
Tallent kept his cool.
"At first, I didn't know what its intent is, so I turned around, just heading back, walking casually," he said.
But coyotes can be curious animals.
"About 40 paces later, I turned around and noticed it was standing in the path. It had come back up to the trail," he said.
Tallent turned and quickened the pace.
"I jogged a little bit down the trail, about 30 to 40 paces again, turned around, and it hadn't closed the distance, it was about the same distance from me."
Encountering a coyote like this is rare, according to Summit MetroParks biologist Michael Johnson.
"We've been doing research for three or four years, and really one of the bottom line things we've learned from this is these animals are doing everything they can to avoid us," Johnson said.
The park system even produced a video about their coyote research.
Tallent reported the sighting to park personnel, who answered his questions. Looking back on it, he has one regret.
"I wish I could have actually stopped and observed it a little longer and actually took some pictures of it," Tallent said.
MetroParks Serving Summit County along with Cleveland Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park have been studying coyote populations in Northeast Ohio. They have radio-collared several coyotes and tracked them from Tuscarawas County to the shores of Lake Erie. The study and a companion video of the research can be found at the Summit MetroParks website.
Here is the link to their coyote information.
Also, know that there have been 142 coyote attacks on humans recorded since 1985. Two were fatal.
Domestic or feral dogs bite 4.7 million people every year. About 800,000 need medical treatment, and 12 deaths per year can be attributed to dogs.